Today WeChat announced 6 changes to mini programs. All positive changes that will have an impact on mini programs gaining traction in China. Below is the list:
- Individual developers can create and submit mini programs to the WeChat team. We no longer need a Chinese business license, just Chinese ID card. This is a similar set up to how we apply for WeChat personal (个人) subscription accounts.
Above: Screenshot of the new option for personal WeChat mini program in the backend
A very welcome change that will open up the market for individual developers to start experimenting with this new format.
2. Mini programs can be linked to official account menu buttons. It’s hard to believe this feature wasn’t available from day 1 but it wasn’t, so here it is now.
Above: screenshot of the option to link a mini program to a WeChat service account’s men
3. Template messages from official accounts can now open mini programs. See example of a template message below. Usually template messages are sent by official accounts when a user completes an action (typically making a payment).
4. When a mini program is linked to an official account, a message can be sent to all followers of the account notifying them of the new mini program (this message does not count towards the monthly/daily limit of push messages). This change will help drive a one off large chunk of traffic to those mini programs linked to popular WeChat service/subscription accounts.
5. Mobile apps can share mini program pages direct to WeChat conversations or groups. A mini program preview page is much larger than a normal link shared in a group. Plus in opening the mini program rather than the app will of course be a much better experience if you don’t have that app installed on your phone.
6. Link your current offline app download QR codes to your mini program so scanning the QR with WeChat now goes to the mini program. This can be done without physically reprinting any of the QR codes (i.e. same as what Mobike has done). This could end up being the biggest change of all. Mobike was the first business to have this new feature and it had a massive impact on their first time usage rates.