Messaging is growing at a breathtaking pace. The top 4 messaging apps have almost 3 billion users. In particular, China-based WeChat has been the center of attention both for rapid growth and for pushing the “messaging-as-interface” model further than anyone else.
For WeChat’s 600 million users, it is not just a way to chat with friends, it’s also their primary gateway for interacting with, and buying from, companies. WeChat has leveraged popularity in person-to-person (P2P) interactions for expansion into business-to-consumer (B2C) interactions. So much so, that it’s more important for a new company in China to have a WeChat account than a stand-alone website.
Naturally, many people are asking, “Who will be the WeChat of the West?” You can find variations on that headline in articles from Re/Code, Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch and GigaOm. But is that even the right question? Continue reading