WeChat mini programs have proven successful for the chat app, according to a report by the South China Morning Post. At the end of June this year, the amount of mini programs available through WeChat reached a million, with a user base of more than 600 million.
One of the first successful mini programs was a jumping game published at the end of December 2017. In January 2018, it was seeing 100 million active daily players. Mini programs are just one of many ways WeChat keeps its users inside the app ecosystem.
The tiny apps are usually less than 10 megabytes in size, and run without the need for further installation on the app’s main screen. Mini programs provide the benefit of a fully-stocked app store, without the need to leave WeChat itself.
The article notes that retaining users is key to WeChat’s ongoing success, as in China the popularity of short video apps is driving users away from messaging platforms. The amount of time spent in messaging apps during June fell from 36% to 30.2%, but increased from 2% to 8.8% for short video apps.