Home » Can Twitter become another WeChat in the West? _Musk_Users_Social

Can Twitter become another WeChat in the West? _Musk_Users_Social

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Can Twitter become another WeChat in the West? _Musk_Users_Social

The birth of a super APP requires a suitable soil environment for its development, pay attention to the right time and place, and now the outlet like WeChat is no longer. In Western countries, whether Twitter can become a national APP like WeChat, this article will discuss this in depth, let’s take a look.

Musk has always admired WeChat very much, and he wants to make Twitter the WeChat of the West.

A few days ago, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released documents showing that Tesla CEO Elon Musk (Elon Musk) proposed to continue to buy social media company Twitter (Twitter) for $54.20 per share, that is, the price is still $440 One hundred million U.S. dollars. Twitter said it accepted Musk’s resumption of the acquisition at the original price, but did not make it clear whether it would drop the lawsuit.

Musk said in Twitter: “Buying Twitter is an accelerator to create ‘X’, which is a super app (everything app).” Musk described “X” as a WeChat-like “one-stop social platform”, Users can implement almost all daily life and consumption functions on this App.

Bloomberg also wrote: “Musk’s universal app ‘X’ sounds a lot like China’s WeChat.”

A long time ago, Musk said that only by learning the WeChat model can we achieve Twitter’s goal of 1 billion daily active users.

The question is, can Musk make Western WeChat?

1. The rise of WeChat was in line with the favorable conditions and favorable conditions in China at that time.

We will find that super apps like WeChat or WeChat-like apps are adapted to countries in the Confucian cultural circle.

Similar apps have emerged in other parts of Asia, such as Line in Japan and South Korea, and Grab in Singapore and Malaysia. Grab is also imitating WeChat, adding functions such as taxi services and consumer finance in addition to the social chat function, and Line is also expanding other life service functions.

The birth of a super APP requires an environment suitable for the soil. On January 21, 2011, the birth of WeChat was just at the beginning of the outbreak of the mobile Internet. The iPhone 4 had already exploded in the world. At that time, the domestic smartphone was on the eve of the explosion, and domestic users were in urgent need of a national-level instant messaging APP.

At that time, a large number of users relied on phone calls and text messages for communication. WeChat was born out of nowhere, and it was a traffic channel. It was a social product that was simpler than QQ and was suitable for mobile communication. The marketing killer of WeChat was free SMS.

It can be said that the marketing phrase “free text messages” quickly swept the country at that time, directly hitting the pain points of mobile phone use by the vast majority of people at that time. Because before WeChat, there was a charge for text messages, 1 cent per text message. Due to the large volume of text messages sent and received by users at that time, this price was not cheap for users at that time.

The traffic channel mode of WeChat chat is equivalent to reducing the dimension and attacking the SMS charging mode, especially WeChat soon launched the voice call and video call mode. These new social modes themselves have given a large number of users a strong motivation to use WeChat. A large number of users abandoned text messages and quickly moved to the WeChat camp.

At that time, another objective condition for the rise of WeChat was that it relied on the huge user volume of Tencent QQ to transfer users. QQ’s huge user base and friend import function have provided a strong user base and impetus for the rapid formation and growth of WeChat’s acquaintance social network. This is the unique advantage of Tencent’s social system, and this is also the key factor in WeChat’s defeat of Michao.

In fact, China Mobile Fetion also launched the slogan of free text messages at that time, but Fetion’s trick was to block other operators, and only China Mobile users could communicate with each other, so it was abandoned by a large number of users. Therefore, the domestic mobile Internet environment at that time gave WeChat a series of natural conditions such as the rise of time, geographical advantages, and people.

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With the growth of users, WeChat continues to expand new functions, from the popularity of video chat, circle of friends, and mini games to the opening of the payment market by WeChat red envelopes, to WeChat official accounts, mini programs, e-commerce shopping, taxis and a series of functions With the launch of , WeChat has become a super APP that accommodates all aspects of national life.

When WeChat first expanded its services beyond social functions, there were not so many mature applications in China, which enabled WeChat to quickly occupy the market. However, when WeChat continued to expand its services and capabilities beyond social functions, there was no equivalent in the Chinese market. competitors to prevent it from growing, allowing WeChat to quickly dominate the market.

In today’s global market, there is no such natural soil and environment for the birth of WeChat. From the objective point of view, no matter domestic or overseas, there is no second company that can provide users like instant messaging (QQ) in the PC era. Long-term cultivation, at the beginning of the rise of WeChat, it has a huge user base imported by users in the early stage.

To put it simply, both at home and abroad, there are no conditions for making a super APP like WeChat at the right time and place, and the era of the rise of WeChat has disappeared.

2. Twitter did not transform into WeChat genes

In fact, in Western countries, Musk is not the only one who wants to be a Western WeChat. In the past, Ted Livingston, founder and CEO of Kik in Canada, said that the chat application that was not recognized in the West has now become a The general trend. Ted Winston believes that the company that can really develop the “Western WeChat” may not be Facebook, or even come from Silicon Valley.

In his view, Kik has the potential to become the “Western WeChat”. But it turns out that Kik didn’t develop into a second WeChat.

As early as March 2019, Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, announced that Facebook would shift from an open social platform to a private way of classmates, and on this basis extend calls, video chats, e-commerce, electronic payments, etc. Serve.

From the perspective of later practices, Facebook is also imitating WeChat in a series of functions. WhatsApp, Facebook, etc. are all trying to become super apps, but none of them have become the second WeChat.

Musk once said: “In China, basically you can live in WeChat, and if Twitter can reproduce this state, it can be a huge success.”

Musk once said: “In China, basically you can live in WeChat, and if Twitter can reproduce this state, it can be a huge success.”

Judging from the genes of the Twitter app, as a social media, its genes are more inclined to socializing in squares rather than socializing in circles, and it does not have the potential to become an instant messenger.

Instant messaging is a closed private social network, while Twitter is an open square social media. The so-called square social media is a social field for onlookers of celebrities. This social platform mainly focuses on hot content onlookers, and its content production mainly relies on celebrities. With the media, celebrities or big V are the protagonists. You can refer to Weibo. Ordinary users act as spectators and have strong motives for onlookers. The motive for producing content is very weak, because no one reads it.

Statistics show that 90% of the information posted on Twitter is posted by 10% of users. And most users just come in to see the liveliness of celebrities and hot events, and do not create content themselves. From a genetic point of view, Twitter is actually a content information publishing platform rather than a social platform.

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The genes of instant messaging are social circles and acquaintances, and acquaintances focus on privacy and circles. These are actually two completely different social genes and fields, which are in conflict in themselves.

If Twitter is guided in the direction of private acquaintances and social networking, the protagonists of Twitter – 10% of celebrities and media organizations that produce content will be squeezed, and users at home will be lost.

The crux of the problem is that Western users are not interested in instant messaging and social interaction, and instant messaging is not attractive. If Western users like to soak in instant messaging software every day, MSN is already the WeChat of the West.

In addition, a product that continuously iterates more functions, turns to private social networking, plus e-commerce shopping to payment and other functions, this has already been done by Facebook, but the effect is not good.

This is essentially the social model of WeChat that does not match the social soil of the West and the user’s personality, which will be discussed in detail later.

Of course, Musk is very envious of the growth speed and volume of WeChat payment. After all, Musk also started in the payment industry and has a payment complex. He co-founded PayPal in 1998, and in 2002, he resold PayPal to eBay, earning $150 million and his first pot of gold.

But from today’s point of view, both the social and payment fields in the West are surrounded by giants. In the United States, players in the payment market include Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, and Venmo.

Competitors in the social field include TikTok, WhatsApp, Facebook, etc. In particular, the social giants behind it all want to become WeChat. Whether Twitter wants to re-take the WeChat road or re-establish its payment function, it faces huge challenges and difficulties.

Maybe in the eyes of some people, Musk is an extraordinary person, has his own advantages, and has innovative thinking different from the previous giants, but people may ignore that the difficulty of making an Internet super application is not the same as making a car. language.

3. Western culture and national character do not match WeChat

An instant messaging social app has grown into a super app. In fact, under the favorable time and place, it also incorporates more factors of policy, national conditions, culture, and national character.

In the Chinese market, people pay attention to socializing with acquaintances and social circles, and tend to socialize by text and voice. They have a high degree of acceptance of super APPs that integrate many functions.

In the PC era, QQ has cultivated the usage habits and preferences of Chinese Internet users as super APPs. QQ has continuously expanded from the attributes of instant messaging tools to news, games, payment, social networking and other businesses. Social platform, to WeChat here, everything is logical. But this is not the case abroad.

Social networking in the West pays more attention to offline gatherings, phone calls or video-based social networking. In short, it is direct chat, and social networking is more direct and simple.

The preference of text communication is actually more suitable for countries in the Asian Confucian cultural circle, such as Japan, South Korea and China. Therefore, we have seen WeChat-like instant messaging software line, which is also very active in the Japanese and Korean markets. Well, become a local mainstream social product.

Western social APPs all pursue minimalism, and social pursuits are simple, fast, and efficient, which is a model that Western users are accustomed to.

In the Western geek spirit, there is the ultimate pursuit of user experience and stricter privacy protection. In Western mobile, WhatApp is a single chat application, Snapchat is a social communication application that burns after reading, and Instagram It is also the main social sharing of pictures, and there is even a strange social app like YO that can only send one “Yo”. User habits and preferences make Western social products often have the limitations of a single communication tool.

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In 2007, MSN became the world‘s largest IM tool in its heyday. However, with the rise of social networking, the limitations of MSN as a single communication tool began to appear, and its decline is reasonable.

The super APP that Musk wants to build often needs to obtain many privacy permissions, which is intolerable for Western users, and is also contrary to the policies of many European and American countries. Europe and the United States have more stringent antitrust laws and privacy protection laws.

That is to say, the product of WeChat is actually contrary to Western culture, social personality, user habits and preferences, etc. There are conflicts. This is why WeChat has been opening up the international market early, but it has been unable to enter Europe and the United States. The social circle is generally limited to the Chinese group, which is actually because the text and voice communication habits of WeChat are more in line with the user psychology of Confucian culture.

For example, Line in Japan and Grab in Singapore and Malaysia are similar to WeChat. They have developed very well in the Asian Confucian cultural circle. From a chat tool to many fields such as taxi-hailing, financial consumption, and games, they all cater to those who are not suitable for the West. The national character and cultural soil of the country.

In addition, as mentioned above, the reason why WeChat can leverage a large-scale user base to join is that the rigid demand and pain points of free text messages in the early days of smartphones are very strong. In the early days of smartphones, it was very attractive. In the past In the West, free text messages on Whatsapp have also been popularized for a while.

But at present, the importance of free text messages is gradually decreasing, and it is very difficult to convince users to switch to Twitter chat when a large number of users in the West are using Facebook and Whatsapp as social tools.

After all, due to the preconceived effect, the social habits of Western users have been very stable, and there is no reason to transfer the platform. This is similar to when you say to your friends on WeChat, let’s chat on Weibo, and your friends are undoubtedly confused.

Therefore, although Musk admires WeChat very much, he also emphasized before: “In China, you are like living in WeChat, and if Twitter can reproduce this state, it can be a great success.”

Therefore, although Musk admires WeChat very much, he also emphasized before: “In China, you are like living in WeChat, and if Twitter can reproduce this state, it can be a great success.”

However, to forcibly revise Twitter and to replicate a WeChat in the Western world, it ignores the difficulty of reversing the universal character of Western nationals and the cultural level, and also ignores the strong platform attraction and added value of WeChat. Most of them are based on localization. At the level of user needs and cultural personality, different soils have species suitable for their growth, oranges in Huainan are oranges, and oranges in Huaibei are oranges.

Musk is a self-confident and conceited person, and Tesla’s success has made him a little floating, but Musk might as well try to transform Twitter. The difficulty may make Musk realize that no matter how strong a person is, he will always have his own Can’t figure it out.


Wang Xinxi, WeChat public account: redianweiping, everyone is a product manager, columnist, Internet practitioner, columnist of Baidu Baijia, iResearch, Huxiu.com, TMTpost certified author, concerned about the people behind IT hotspots Essence, TMT Senior Reviewer.

The title image is from Unsplash and is based on the CC0 protocol.Return to Sohu, see more

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