The next version of the service is rumored to include smartphone transactions and paid publishing.
It is already known for certain that the popular social messaging app, WeChat, from Tencent, will soon include a social gaming platform, but the latest rumor is that mobile payments will also be included in the mix.
This is one of the three major features that Guan Peng is predicting for the application.
Peng, an industry analyst, has said that the next WeChat app update, the v5.0 for Android and iPhone, will support three considerable new features. Among them will be a form of mobile payments. It is also expected that the new version isn’t long off and that it will be released before the end of May.
This will represent a meaningful addition to the mobile payments marketplace, considering the number of app users.
The three predictions that Peng has made for the new WeChat version are:
• Paid subscriptions or publishing for certain applicable accounts on the public platform at WeChat, for example, those run by brands, media outlets, and celebrities.
• Mobile payments that will give users the ability to complete transactions within WeChat, through the scanning of QR codes.
• The integration of social gaming, as has previously been promised for this version.
Furthermore, beyond the social gaming, paid subscriptions, and mobile payments, Guan Peng also believes that celebrity and brand accounts at WeChat will be provided with a bigger spotlight. That said, it is important to note that these are all predictions within the industry and from this one particular expert. WeChat has not confirmed that these will all be included in the next version, nor has it released the date of the launch of the next version.
Though social gaming has been promised by the company for an upcoming version, the mobile payments and paid subscriptions remain an educated guess. The social gaming element is expected to be somewhat comparable to those that have already been launched in competitor apps such as Kakaotalk and Line. However, this doesn’t mean that it will necessarily be ready to go before the end of May.