WeChat launches apps that don’t install

WeChat beats Google to the punch and releases mini-apps that you can use directly online without the hassle of downloading and registering

Tencent, the maker of WeChat, has just launched a bundle of mini-programs - it seems Apple has vetoed the term app - that work within its highly popular instant messaging app that open with a simple tap on a link.

The first ones to find a place in WeChat are a sort of Prism for photo editing, Pomodoro Timer for personal productivity and a search engine for finding airline flights and cooking recipes. WeChat continues its triumphant march and aims to become ubiquitous on Chinese cell phones where people already use it for various activities in daily life such as, for example, paying for restaurants or usingDidi Chuxing, a service to call a cab or rent a car. WeChat, in fact, is well on its way to becoming the largest application distributor in China.

Not just chat, but facts

WeChat has is a hugely successful application in China, with a huge number of users using it - estimated to be more than 90 minutes every day - and the real possibility of opening its own store. Right now, people download and buy little programs on the Google Play Store or other third-party Android online stores. WeChat looks a bit like Google's Instant Apps, announced in May last year but still locked in a drawer in Mountain View.