In order to stay relevant in today’s fast-paced world of technology, products and services need to evolve and innovate constantly. However, that’s easier said than done, which is why it’s no longer uncommon to see companies ‘getting inspired’ from rivals and lifting off features directly from them. And the latest to do so is WeChat.
The Chinese instant messaging platform, which also includes a host of other features like integrated news feed and digital payments, has introduced a new feature called ‘Time Capsule’. Similar in functionality to Snapchat’s wildly-popular ‘Stories’ feature, ‘Time Capsule’ allows users to post ephemeral videos of up to 15 seconds in length, and these disappear automatically after 24 hours. It’s worth mentioning that Instagram, Facebook, and even YouTube already include ‘Stories’ functionality, having lifted the feature off Snapchat quite some time back. However, unlike Instagram, WeChat doesn’t (yet) allow users creating ‘Time Capsule’ videos to share them with their friends.
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Also, while Instagram shows recently-posted ‘Stories’ as a horizontal list on the top of its user interface, WeChat’s approach is a little different. Whenever a user records/posts a ‘Time Capsule’ video, a blue ring appears near their profile. As reported by Tech Crunch, users watching ‘Time Capsule’ videos from their friends can react to the same by ‘blowing’ virtual bubbles. As is always the case with major feature rollouts like this, it may take a while for the new ‘Time Capsule’ functionality to be available for all WeChat users out there. The app itself is developed by Tencent Holdings Limited, whose portfolio of digital products and services includes everything from e-commerce platforms and mobile games to payment systems and web portals.