How to Leverage WeChat Mini Program

I want to quickly talk about mini-program because it will inevitably come up for business who are serious about leveraging WeChat as one of the primary marketing assets for your business in China.

What is WeChat Mini-Programs?

WeChat Mini-Program is really an App within WeChat’s ecosystem. So yes, and app within an app. For those of you who may be familiar with WordPress, you can sort of think of it as a plugin but for WeChat.

However, unlike Wordpress Plugin, web apps, or native apps WeChat Mini-Program has its own scripting language build on top of Javascript (kind of like React.js framework by Facebook) and uses “WXSS” and “WXML” instead of CSS and HTML

By the way, if you haven’t figure out what WXSS stand for its Weixin (WeChat in Chinese) Style Sheet and Weixin Markup Language. Clever right?

The other major difference with WeChat Mini-Programs vs say WordPress Plugins is that most Mini-Programs are developed for the end consumers rather than adding functionalities to your WeChat official account.

Now, all of this sounds like a lot of work because you’ll now find a developer who knows how to create Mini-Programs using Tencent’s Javascript language, and honestly, it’s relatively a new function for WeChat.

Should You Leverage WeChat Mini-Programs?

Honestly, it really depends on how the Mini-Program will play into your marketing strategy. I don’t think it’s a must but there is certainly use cases.

Personally, I think Mini-Programs are small Web App that is limited to only work within WeChat. So it’s really only useful if you’re using it as a way to either “add additional value” to your product or service, use it as an easy and low barrier entry point, or to differentiate your self (I guess) by adding a Mini-Program to your service.

But overall, my opinion is if your budget is tied you can do without it and still build a great business in China without having to touch WeChat Mini-Programs at all. That being said, if you have the budget and it fits into your overall strategy someone then Mini-Program is a great asset to your WeChat marketing.

There is however another reason why you should use Mini-Programs which is because Mini-Programs has a limit of 10MB in size which is great for low connectivity and is attached to WeChat, it is very popular amongst the lower-tier cities (3,4, etc…) in China.

So, if you’re catering to that geographic in China then having a Mini-Program may just be the key to your success in China.

WeChat Mini-Program vs Web App Vs Native Apps

A lot of people ask if WeChat Mini-Program can replace web apps or native apps?

In my opinion, not likely in general because while there is a tone of the article talking and debating about mini-program whether it’s a success or a failure, pulling in impressive charts, data, graphs, and case-study at the end of the date it’s just “codes”.

Like a website, a native app or the first Macintosh that has a pointer and mouse, it’s just code.

The reason why in general mini-program is not likely going to replace native app is that imagine if the world has only Apple’s App Store, that is absolute power