WeChat is the latest messaging app to take a leaf out of Snapchat’s “ephemeral” book, introducing a new feature on the WeChat iOS app that lets you recall the last message you sent within two minutes. All you have to do is long-press the message to activate a series of options, click ‘Unsend’ and the message will disappear from both your chat screen and the recipient’s. The feature also works on photos.
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The WeChat update is now live for the iOS app, but those with Android devices have to wait for a while before you get the option — after all, a new update has just rolled out to the Android app that introduced a new message translation feature already present on iOS devices.
Though the recall feature doesn’t technically bring WeChat into the ephemeral messaging space since you have to delete the messages manually, the fact that you can now do so is a nod to the appeal of fleeting messages that Snapchat pioneered. On the other hand, Snapchat recently made a move to become like other mainstream messaging apps by introducing private messaging and video calls.
In the meantime, the iOS version of WeChat’s Chinese counterpart, Weixin, has also received an update today that lets users deposit money into their wallet within the app, then transfer money to their friends or make payments directly without having to leave the app.
Enabling one-click payment is a major step forward in beefing up Weixin’s e-commerce ecosystem, as it cuts down the number of steps involved in making purchases in-app. Since users already have money within their wallet, they don’t have to allow access to their online banking account over and over again.
The app update comes after Tencent made a move recently to let third-parties (official account owners) create their own individual stores within Weixin. Earlier this year, Tencent marked its e-commerce ambitions by purchasing a 15 percent stake in Chinese online retailer JD.com, and an additional five percent after its US IPO, which raised $1.78 billion.
➤ WeChat | iOS
➤ Weixin | iOS