China’s wannabe pop stars can now subject their friends to drunken renditions of Jay Chou tunes without carrying cash. WeChat, the popular messaging app owned by Tencent, announced yesterday it will incorporate karaoke services from inside the app.
Techweb reports that several karaoke chains spread across China – where it’s know as “KTV” – have integrated WeChat into their IT systems. WeChat users can book rooms, order food, select songs, and pay for bills all through the app.
Techweb points out that WeChat’s product for karaoke chains recalls a move from Changba, an app that lets users record and share their own recordings with users. Last autumn, the startup announced it would begin forming partnerships with small karaoke chains to allow its users the same kind of services – room booking, song selecting, and payments through Alipay.
WeChat remains a fast evolving platform, particularly in online-to-offline payments. Back in February it launched a “city services” feature for booking doctors appointments, paying municipal bills and fines, and even monitoring traffic from inside the app.
It’s also experimenting with monetization through good old-fashioned advertising. Last week it began placing banner ads and app-install ads inside articles that media outlets published to WeChat.