WeChat Archives - Stuff


Last week Facebook indicated it is moving into an ecosystem that may look like China’s WeChat

If you want a good picture of what Facebook seems to be pivoting itself to become, start using that great everything app WeChat. South Africans tend to think of it as just a messaging app, an alternative to WhatsApp.

Despite WeChat being ubiquitous in China, its stock has fallen due to a mobile gaming ban

When I handed cash to the cashier at a restaurant in Shanghai, he looked at me blankly for a moment. In front of the register were prominent signs for WeChat Pay and Alipay, the two dominant forms of mobile payments which are used by hundreds of millions of Chinese instead of cash. He took my money, and I ate my noodles overlooking the pond in the famous Yu Gardens, feeling uncharacteristically li...[Read More]

How Tencent became the world’s most valuable social network firm – with barely any advertising

The Chinese technology giant Tencent recently overtook US rival Facebook to become the world’s most valuable social network company, with a market capitalisation of US$540 billion. Yet it is sitting on an advertising goldmine. Just 18% of its total revenue in the 2016 fiscal year came from online advertising. Compare this with Facebook’s model: advertising makes up 98% of its total revenue. So why...[Read More]

Meet Joox, South Africa’s newest music streaming service

Tencent, the Chinese company that owns WeChat and in which Naspers holds a sizeable stake, has launched its music streaming service called Joox in South Africa. The ad-supported, free version of the app limits users to pre-defined radio stations, but the subscription model offers the sorts of features you’d expect from a streaming service: on-demand access to the entire Joox library of 3 mil...[Read More]

Stuff’s Gadget and App Award winners are…

Here at Stuff Towers we spend an inordinate amount of time fiddling with gadgets, apps, robot vacuum cleaners, IP cameras, action cameras, regular cameras, and anything else we can get our mitts on. The downside of this is trying to keep track of the batteries and cables that come with them, the upshot is you get the distilled knowledge gleaned from our collective experience and the many hours spe...[Read More]

Forget the resolutions, kick off the new year with a few of these useful apps

New Year’s Resolutions are the latest fad to receive the app treatment. My social media timeline have been awash with apps promising to help you fulfil those annual do-better intentions. Instead of apps to help you achieve the unachievable, rather use some good apps that make your life easier and more productive. Every year, my personal favourite app is always Evernote. Evernote is a brillia...[Read More]

Get the December issue on Monday and save on the latest tech

Whether you’re looking to get on top of your festive season shopping early, or simply need to scratch your gadget-acquisition itch, Monday 21 November is the date to diarise. That’s when our December issue hits shelves, complete with our latest selection of discounted deals from WeChat and Incredible Connection. So, what can you look forward to? Up to 50% off selected gadgets, includin...[Read More]

Allo? Allo! Google’s new smart messaging app is live, but can it win us over?

Do we really need another messaging app? Google thinks so, and it doesn’t think its existing Hangouts app is the way to go. Instead, it’s created Google Allo, an instant messaging service that includes all the features you’d expect from a messaging app and one big one you wouldn’t: integrated Google Assistant (which is a bot with features of Google Search and Now). In other...[Read More]

Stuff, WeChat and Incredible Connection have turned print media into mobile e-commerce

Print media readers will be able to buy goods using an innovative new payment option using WeChat directly out of the Jul/Aug 2016 issue of Stuff magazine. This ingenious means of enabling e-commerce via smartphones is a first for Africa, which is a mobile-only continent. Stuff, South Africa’s premier consumer technology magazine, has partnered with WeChat and retailer Incredible Connection to off...[Read More]

Light Start – DARPA’s new drone, office WeChat, Earth in 4K, and WoW Legion launch

DARPA successfully test-flies strange new 24-fan LightningStrike drone [vimeo id=”163261290″] Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the skies, DARPA comes along with a new experimental drone design. The strange critter in the video above (or the header image, in the newsletter) is the LightningStrike, a drone created by a company called Aurora Flight Sciences (on a DARPA co...[Read More]

WhatsApp scraps the fee none of us ever seem to have paid

Facebook-owned instant messaging service WhatsApp has scrapped the $1, one-time fee it supposedly used to charge some users in some parts of the world in an effort to get more people — particularly those in emerging and presumably cash-strapped markets — using the service, rather than rival services like WeChat, Line or Telegram Messenger. “[W]e’re happy to announce that Wh...[Read More]

WeChat Africa to invest R50 million in tech startups

Instant messaging service WeChat Africa has announced it intends to invest R50 million in African tech startups. The company will take applications from startups in January, and those that take its fancy will get support from it for a “speedy entrance into the market using the WeChat platform”, according to a release from the company announcing the initiative. WeChat has roped in Batst...[Read More]

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