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Upcoming WeChat Features 2018? Part Four: Mini Programs Nearby List

With a figure of a billion monthly active users as of the second half of 2017, and undoubtedly increasing, WeChat is clearly doing something right. From WePay to mini-programs, WeChat has become a program brimming with functionality. In 2018, what more is there for WeChat to add? Over the next few days, we will be looking at several of WeChat’s newest features and how your brand can make the most out of them.


Finding mini programs nearby

Since January last year, mini programs (or embedded apps) have allowed brands from a variety of industries to reach consumers more easily. Without the need to download a separate app, mini programs are faster and less data-heavy, allowing users to do everything from order food to translate language without ever leaving WeChat.

Implementation of the Nearby List

Recently, Tencent introduced a new feature to allow for the bidding of ad space in the ‘Mini Programs Nearby’ list. Essentially, this means that users are provided with a list of mini programs based on their location, age, gender, and other metrics.


For ecommerce brands, the opportunity to deliver relevant and personalised communication is an undoubtedly enticing prospect – as is the chance to connect users with hyper-local offline experiences. Mini programs are designed to be unobtrusive, as they only appear when the service in question is required. For example, bike sharing brand Mobike allows users to rent a bike (via the mini program) by scanning a QR code at a pick-up point.

How is this helping brands and consumers?

Instead of having to download an existing app, it means that users can naturally discover and interact with brands in real-time. This promotes ease of access and removes much of the hesitation that comes with consumers needing to go through a process that could easily be tedious.