The new version of WeChat (6.3.28) has several changes. The most important being a WeChat group admin can now choose to block people from adding extra members to their group. This feature is highly likely to roll out in some form to all versions of WeChat soon. Read on to find out exactly how it works, why it’s so important.
Once the new version of WeChat is installed a new setting for the WeChat group admin is to be found under ‘manage group’. See picture below:
Once activated only those with approval from the WeChat group admin can be added.
The group admin will receive a message to confirm any new invitations similar to the one below. Only once approved by the group owner can the member add the new person to the group.
The group QR code for adding new members is also now blocked.
Why is this important?
1. WeChat Group admins are now more powerful.
Admins are of course the only ones who can remove people from their group. But now they can easily change the settings so they are also the only ones who can add people to the group. This effectively makes the group admin a powerful gate keeper. Previously this could only be achieved by communicating and enforcing strict rules to all group members.
2. A big step towards monetizing groups!
QQ (China’s other major social app) has had pay to join group features since Feb this year. There has been much talk in China of WeChat introducing a similar feature. At last we see a clear move from WeChat to this direction.
Another Change in the New Update
Another very noticeable change in the update lies in the WeChat web browser’s menu which has a complete UI overhaul (see below).
Notice how the new ‘Share on QQ’ and ‘Qzone‘ are colored? Yep, WeChat is now helping to push traffic back to its bitter rival fellow Tencent social app QQ. In our previous article here we mentioned how WeChat broke ties with QQ earlier this year. The support of QQ in the early days of WeChat was absolutely vital to its success in China. Now it’s WeChat’s turn to help its older brother.
A small but important note?
Previously special options for note taking official accounts such as Evernote or cloud file storage services such as Weiyun could appear on the browser menu if you followed those accounts (see below).
Those are now all gone. We think this is very likely a bit of house cleaning before the wildly anticipated launch of WeChat mini-apps.