According to reports, Wechat, a leading social communication platform which seems capable of doing everything, is planning to launch an app aimed at office workers – an app similar to the hugely popular Slack.
The app, to be known as Enterprise WeChat (企业微信), will have both a mobile and desktop version, will include a number of business-specific features, and will be available for free, according to the report.
In a Q&A on QQ Tech, the WeChat team revealed a few features of Enterprise WeChat and some of the decisions that went into building the app.
First, the team revealed that the app is a replacement for constant workroom chatter (much like Slack), not a replacement for email. The app will bank on employees using the service throughout the day!
The app has features like “coffee break” mode to indicate that an employee is away from their desk for a moment. This is because it is presumed that employees will be logged in to the app all day (and possibly later).
Also, the app will expedite office-related tasks. These tasks will be completed by simply sending an automated form between workers, like requesting leave or reimbursements.
From the images posted to QQ Tech, many of WeChat’s core messaging features remain intact in the Enterprise version. Users can still make groups and send images, voice messages, files, emoticons and stickers, GPS locations, and more.
The “receipt” function is a notable feature in the Enterprise version. This feature lets users know that their message have been read by the recipient – Slack has this feature too.
Most of the features of Enterprise WeChat are unknown at the moment but they would come to public knowledge when the app nears launch. One thing is certain though; Enterprise WeChat exists, and it’s trying to do what Slack does, and even more.
Over the years, several Asian startups – even the big companies too – have attempted to come up with solutions targeted at workplace chatting and collaboration. Unfortunately, none have been able to successfully conquer the workplace.
Slack has not done well in China as it has done in every other part of the world, and the Chinese are very wary of foreign web services (their government may block them anytime)
WeChat hopes to conquer the workplace with Enterprise WeChat, and it has a very huge chance of doing so. Why? Virtually everyone in China has WeChat installed on their smart phone!
Unlike in China though, WeChat isn’t so popular everywhere else. So it remains to be seen if Enterprise WeChat will do better by being used for workplace collaboration across the world!
Image Credit: Tech in Asia.