“This year, Q3 WeChat monthly active users numbered 1.083 billion; as of July 2018, there were 200 million active users on small programs, more than 1 million online programs, more than 1.5 million developers joined, more than 5,000 third-party platforms; Among the program users, the Japanese open the small program 4 times, and the per capita use of more than 20 small programs. & rdquo; This is the latest data released by the WeChat small program team in the second half of this year.
WeChat headquarters office in Guangzhou TITI Creative Park
Behind this growth, the WeChat applet has released more than 100 new capabilities in the past year. The business ecology and user education of small programs are gradually maturing. This year, Alipay, today's headlines, and vibrato have joined the competition of small program platforms.
In contrast to this speed, developers are expecting faster commercialization and triumphant opening, while WeChat maintains consistent restraint and more cautious iterations. In WeChat's view, any changes are now in place. And move to the point of the whole body. In the second half of this year, developers and investors began to adjust the expectations and understanding of the small program —— the cost of the small program and the threshold is generally lower than the App, but the retention is relatively weak. In addition, the way to buy, not so easy to use.
WeChat expresses its own persistence through restraint —— hopes to guide developers to adapt to WeChat's product principles and ideas through a series of policies, so that they can find their own commercialization.
The most typical example is the “snap-and-go” rule that has been discussed since the launch of the small program in January 2017. Zhang Xiaolong proposed the starting point of this product positioning, which is to optimize the user experience of the C-end. WeChat hopes that developers will go to the center, allowing developers to achieve natural growth through ideas and products. At the same time, however, during the development of the mobile Internet, the practice of catalyzing mobile applications has formed a set of industrial chains and operational routines.
It seems that these two ideas do not match, which is why some developers are entangled.
"In fact, buy traffic & mdash; — push download harassment users & mdash; & mdash; pull retention & mdash; & mdash; will be a good story & mdash; & mdash; financing, which itself is a bubble. "October, Du Jiahui, assistant general manager of WeChat Open Platform Foundation Department, said at the closed communication meeting that the essence of this kind of entanglement is that some entrepreneurs have not found a way to allow users to use it frequently. “Developers still have to return to user value. We have seen some small programs that can solve problems for users. The retention rate is over 50%, so that they are not used up. ”
“Buy traffic” is the most obvious thing in the game box. The WeChat applet advocates decentralization, so some developers hope to buy the game box through traffic distribution to achieve the effect of revealing customers. Not long ago, the WeChat policy introduced restrictions on the amount of game box jumps, and asked for a pop-up window to inform the user before the jump. As a result, a batch of boxes that had previously been profitable by selling traffic began to die.
The WeChat game team stated in a letter to developers of small games: “We hope that good games will emerge as a result of user approval, not as a result of traffic operations. ”
WeChat hopes to eliminate buying growth, and accordingly, this platform must provide developers with an ecological environment that allows natural growth and exposes more possibilities.
WeChat said that a series of updates to promote natural growth will be announced soon. In terms of specific strategies, WeChat will grade the quality of the small program, introduce quality points, and let users participate in the rating. Small programs with high quality may gain audit bias, a higher percentage of advertising share, and other support in the future.
So far, the development path of WeChat applet has only been completed for a short period of time. Developers still have strong appeals for more entries, such as the most popular circle of friends, such as the smoother opening between the public number and the small program. WeChat responded to these demands by “WeChat's product design is from the C-end perspective, and does not want to bother users and ensure a good user experience. ”
Undoubtedly, there will be more entrances open next year, but WeChat did not disclose specific new entry points, and implicitly stated that “the future of small programs in the social interaction dimension will be more and more.” ”
Improvements worth looking forward to will appear at the entrance to the small program nearby. Compared with online, offline is a field that WeChat applet has been hoping to explore but does not have online maturity. This means that WeChat needs to establish a closer and more motivating service provider system to help the platform. Attract developers.
The WeChat applet team responded in a concentrated manner to the most critical questions about the small program. The following is the content of the exchange, which was slightly abridged after 36 氪 editing:
Q: The growth of the game has reached the bottleneck period. Wechat has been relatively restrained in commercialization. Tencent social advertising has a relatively obvious growth. How many of these are caused by small programs? In addition, better to get through social advertising, through small programs to make profits, is Tencent's clear direction?
A: The day before yesterday, I talked with the founder of the company, Tony. The most important topic of discussion is that everyone will now say that the company’s revenue in this game has dropped this year, and how the company can make up this piece of income. Tony said that if you want to make your income look good, you want to pull the stock up. In fact, this is not difficult. The question is, if this company really only does this, is this what Tencent should do today? We all think not. It is precisely because everyone now believes that Tencent is in a relatively low period, or that income has grown to a bottleneck, we need more patience. This patience is that when you are in the winter, can you still guarantee that your movements are not deformed? This is what we need to insist on. Otherwise, the company wants to make short-term benefits. I can put all kinds of KPIs. This is It's easy, but what about going on after doing it?
In fact, in Tencent today, WeChat’s philosophy in the past was to help the company. Many of the company's growth in recent quarters has come from WeChat, although it was not directly created by WeChat. For example, the most obvious social advertisements, with a growth rate of 670% in the third quarter, also came from public and small program advertisement access. Another example is games and mobile payments. Even if we adopt this restraint, we can still guarantee that the company has relatively stable income in this piece, and this income is healthy and does not interfere with users.
Tencent’s social ad publishing rate is now the most restrained on all platforms. If we want to increase the income, we can do it, but we can't do it, because only in the current stable situation can we guarantee that we can have reasonable income and the user can have a better experience. This is our big premise. . In the future, no matter how the business model is developed, it will not change such a big premise.
Q: Will the small program have resources and other resources for Tencent's internal products?
A: WeChat is relatively neutral, it will not take into account the company and other business teams what their needs are. Tencent's other business teams are looking forward to being taken care of or tied to WeChat, but so far, they have come to the WeChat partner on the WeChat platform. Partners need to provide a solution that allows WeChat team to trust more to prove that they have greater value on this platform, and then WeChat will consider whether it can be accessed. This is a big premise. We don't have any mandatory binding measures to help them.
Q: When you run out, it may affect the developer's confidence in retention. What do you think about this matter?
A: The key is to see the scenes that developers have not kept. Is it that pull is constantly pushing? This is definitely not true, and users will continue to flee because they have not achieved fundamental value. The little program just broke the road from the very beginning. We don't want the past gameplay (buy + constant push) to grow and retain small programs, which is a capital bubble. We also see that many good small programs are growing naturally, and there are not many real user needs. We hope that the platform can achieve more scenarios and more gameplay to meet the different needs of users.
Q: The policy of the small program has always been very restrained. Does the developer complain about you?
A: There are a lot of complaints from the outside world, such as why you can't share it with friends, why you can't send a template message, why you can't directly pay attention to the public number or get through the public number, etc. We have all thought about it in the past.
We want to let developers know that the small programs that you develop are user-active, rather than marketing or diversion, which generates a lot of middle-level quotients that focus on diversion, making it a platform for mutual guidance. Take the game as an example. Now the game's measurement platform has a big problem. No matter how creative it is, if you don't have the money to buy it, your game won't start.
In fact, every time the outside world broke out that the small program boom came and how much investment entered, we were worried. We hope to let the profitable leave and let the service users stay. Only by caring about users can we make valuable things that may be difficult to understand in the short term, but there will be many people who will develop.
We hope that the whole ecology of the small program is natural as long as your small program is doing well. We will do some updates in the future, providing a good environment for the applet to come out naturally, with initial traffic to try and spread.
Q: What mechanisms might be available to help developers grow naturally?
A: Next, we will release an industry assistant to let everyone know what capabilities of the small programs they develop, where are the capabilities, where is the gap between good small programs, what problems can be solved, and what help users can bring. Wait. This will be available to developers.
We are also trying to get a better support for good openers. For example, a small program submitted by a good developer can do some tilting on the audit. Of course, if the quality of these small programs declines, they will be re-examined. Small programs also have quality scores. These good small programs may have higher advertising scores, and some excellent developers will have better support. In short, we want to help good developers to do a good job.
Q: What do you think of the relationship between the applet and the app?
A: The applet and APP are not non-A or B-related. We found that it is precisely after many small programs have grown to a certain stage that entrepreneurs will do their own APP. We hope that the lower the cost of the entrepreneur in the startup phase, the lower the threshold, the better. If you understand this, it is appropriate for them to start small programs at the beginning, because the test cost is the lowest and the development cost is the lowest. Through small programs, you can test whether your own ideas can be established, whether users are willing to pay, if you are all set up, then you will grow. In the process of natural circulation, they form their own loyal users. After the cold start phase, he feels that he can make a bigger market, then you can go to the APP, which is also a matter of course.
Q: What is the next strategy and input of WeChat in the offline scenario of developing small programs? What will happen to the cooperation model with the service provider? Can the channel resources and experience accumulated under WeChat payment online be reused?
A: We started to specialize in service providers, including the establishment of service provider systems and incentive mechanisms. We also want to pass the classification system so that the good service providers can do better. For example, some of the good service providers that do it, the small program submitted by it has a tilt in the trial. After the subsequent spot checks, if the quality of the software is down, or if there is a violation, we will record it and then downgrade. , re-trial.
We will have an objective rating mechanism, and we hope that the small program will have a quality score, and subsequent user evaluations will also provide the small program quality score. Small grading procedures, advertising can be improved, there are more training resources, there are direct KA docking to help them, and when they encounter problems, there are special people to deal with them in the first time, not through complaints. In the future, they will do better through system construction and support. The construction of WeChat payment section has some reference for small programs, but it is not completely reused.
Q: The small programs in the vicinity seem to have a lot of space. It seems that the things that the group can do can be done. However, at this stage, not all small programs can be traded in this portal. Some are more like the mobile version of the official website. WeChat on this. What are the future product optimization ideas and steps for the portal?
A: The nearby applet is a way to discover small programs nearby. I hope that without the help of middlemen, it will help offline merchants to emerge better. “ Nearby” More is when users arrive at a location and want to serve. In the future, we also hope that it is more of an entry point for transactions, not just yellow pages.
Q: "Look at it" and "Search for a search", the two entrances seem to have the prototype of products such as headlines and Baidu. It seems that WeChat can do anything, but there are voices to evaluate WeChat. The heavier, the team's own style of restraint, may not be in the direction of covering everything, how do you plan yourself?
A: Actually, we did not deliberately do things that coincide with other companies or similar things, or do things that we think have not been resolved. For example, if we look at it, we actually want to change some of the existing things, instead of using existing ideas to solve the problem. As for Search, the WeChat world you saw before it appeared was two, one is a small world that can be seen from your window, but WeChat has a bigger world, and we hope to open a door for users. window. In so many conversational streams, it is difficult for you to use an information keyword to find an article. This is all the difficulty in actual use.
We didn't over-search a search function. In fact, it was also a plug-in at first. If you want to search, you don't want to search, it will not affect you. Later, many people really like it and become a universal function. In principle, all WeChat features will not increase the burden of WeChat itself.
Q: For example, a small program like e-commerce, the final transaction data will be precipitated, will WeChat retain such data?
A: We don't have their business data. This is personal privacy and we are determined to put an end to it. What we bought specifically, we don't know, we only know how many users have paid for it, how much it has been paid, how many accesses there are, how many accesses there are, we know, because we provide interfaces. But we don't know what to do with the user.