You may have heard of WeChat, the instant messaging app from Chinese internet giant Tencent — but what about WeMeet? The latest messaging app vying for a spot on your phone’s homescreen has officially launched, and is brought to you by the group behind Sina Weibo.
Sina, which runs the popular Twitter-esque social network site, is taking a step into the messaging space with an Android and iPhone app that is focusing on group discussions and adopting Snapchat-style features like messages which disappear after they’ve been read. It’s a product of Hangzhou Kuyue Tech, a small team funded by Sina, and comes days after Sina CEO Charles Chao told the Financial Times that the company had plans to launch a “new social media product, complementary to Weibo, that focuses more on groups.”
WeMeet, known as Weimi in Chinese, is hoping to go one step beyond other apps by including RSS feed support and targeting interest groups, aiming to help users find like-minded friends. It supports features like location, audio, image and video sharing, as well as a group chat feature which enables messages to ‘self destruct’ three seconds after being read. As The Next Web notes, it also builds on the link with the microblogging service by allowing users to sync their Sina Weibo accounts to quickly import contacts to the app, and is a major step in the company’s battle with competitors like WeChat, which has seen many Weibo users migrating to the popular messaging app.
While it’s too early to tell what impact WeMeet will have in the space, it’s a late entrant into a market which is becoming increasingly dominated by WeChat. Tencent’s WhatsApp-style app, which has quickly gained more than 300-million registered users since it launched in early 2011, has also been making inroads into markets outside of China, with more than 100-million users outside the country and plans to make a dent in other emerging markets like South Africa.