When One App Rules Them All: The Case of WeChat and Mobile in China

An excellent overview of WeChat, which is championing the paradigm shift from the web, and the “web of apps”, towards messaging and the notification stream. In my opinion, the central linchpin to messaging is its command of identity. The platform’s value is huge because users trust WeChat with their personal contact information, payment information, and personal communication. This trust begets a high-value attention stream for the user, which reinforces the cycle of trust and value in WeChat the platform.

Over time, I predict the notification stream, identity conduits that we call devices, and cloud-native operating systems will become increasingly important. FaceBook wants to become a meta-OS that is device agnostic, while Apple elevates the physical device as the chief arbiter of identity. Expect devices to get better and better at securely recognizing who you are with minimal friction, and expect notifications to become the primary way that you interface with services.

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