WeChat has struck viral gold with its new ‘Red Envelope’ promo, which allows users to pass out hongbao in the lazy, pantsless comfort of their own homes. For the risk-taking gift-giver, the app also includes a ‘random distribution mode’ in which a set sum of money is randomly dealt out to one’s friends. This is, apparently, just what people have been waiting for.
As TechInAsia reports, this fun seasonal quirk is likely part of a much larger marketing campaign by the WeChat folks:
Because the minimum gift is just one yuan and there’s no added fees, it’s a fun and easy way to show a little love to people who you otherwise might have ignored.
The really genius part is what Tencent gets out of this: new users for its WeChat in-app payment service. While many people wouldn’t sign up to spend money on WeChat, it’s a safe bet to assume many more will sign up to receive money, especially from friends. To do so, users must bind a bank card to their WeChat account, which they can use for future transactions.
The app extension launched only two days ago and has already been dubbed “Jack Ma’s nightmare,” as a huge number of users have linked their bank accounts to WeChat, while rival Alipay sits quietly in the corner with no friends or hongbao. WeChat users have already sent more than 18 million yuan online, and the festivities are just beginning.
[Image via TechInAsia]