Ecosystem, comparable with Apple AppStore, 😳 entirely in one super app - WeChat.

Tencent built an #ecosystem, comparable with Apple AppStore, 😳 entirely based on one super app - WeChat.

Is this an outlier OR a trend? It is an outlier AND a trend.


When you hear "ecosystem", Apple’s AppStore often comes to mind. But let’s compare AppStore with WeChat Mini programs.






WeChat started as a messenger, but now is an all-in-one mobile application that brings together messaging, social media, payment, and other services.


Mini Programs are basically apps that are built inside WeChat that allow users to do everything they can do on apps but without leaving WeChat.


Here is the data from 2021:


🍏 Apple’s AppStore

Apps 3.6M

Games 0.97M


💬 WeChat

Mini Programs (apps) - 3.5 M

DAU (daily active users) on WeChat Mini Programs - 450 M

WeChat’s total MAU (monthly active users) - 1.29 Bn


From the user's perspective, Mini Programs do not require installation, which saves a lot of phone storage. Users can simply scan QR codes or search within WeChat to open the Mini Program they need. The development and maintenance cost of a Mini Program is relatively low compared to apps.


Mini Programs were launched in 2017 and are gaining attention. They generated over $400 billion in annual transactions in 2021, a 70% increase year-on-year.



💡 WeChat is a telling example of how an enormous ecosystem could be built on top of a single app that has high frequency interactions and strong network effects.


Now this ecosystem framework is picking up across B2C and B2B products that have scale.



👱🏼 It's also insightful to to see the effect of the WeChat ecosystem on job market

46.2 M - total jobs created

13.4M - video creation, livestreaming e-commerce

8.4 M - R&D and operations using WeChat's Mini Programs

24.4 M - content creation



👇 Check our breakdown of how to build a successful #platform with network effects - in comments.


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