Jing Travel take: WeChat mini-programs are growing in popularity and are becoming an established part of the WeChat ecosystem. In travel, a growing number of destinations have launched WeChat’s so-called CityExperience mini-program guides, with other travel businesses launching increasingly sophisticated purpose-built mini-programs. Have you? This piece originally appeared on our sister site, Jing Daily

WeChat is China’s great Swiss-army knife of an app. It is becoming more and more like an operating system. In addition to messaging, social media feeds, mobile payments, and games, it has its own built-in web browser and, now, through the mini-programs function it launched in late 2016, its own sub-apps.

Given WeChat’s overwhelming popularity in China, it’s also an app that’s absolutely crucial to engaging Chinese consumers. Numerous luxury brands have launched their own WeChat boutiques using mini-programs, as well as games and other novel marketing campaigns.

WeChat business consultancy Walk the Chat pulled together data from several reports on mini-programs to evaluate their uptake so far. They discovered that users are not only increasing their time in mini-programs, but also their spending.

In particular, they say that:

  • Time spent on WeChat mini-programs daily went from 1.6 minutes per day to 9.8 minutes per day in 2017, an increase of over 600 percent,
  • 87 percent of WeChat mini-programs users spend more than 200 RMB per month through them, and
  • The majority of WeChat mini-program users are now women.

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