Emergence of a Post-App Era – An Exploratory Case Study of the WeChat Mini-Program Ecosystem

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						@Select Types{,
							 
							 
							 
							 
							 
							Journal   = "Band-1",
							 Title= "Emergence of a Post-App Era – An Exploratory Case Study of the WeChat Mini-Program Ecosystem", 
							Author= "Kathleen Cheng, Maximilian Schreieck, Manuel Wiesche and Helmut Krcmar", 
							Doi= "https://doi.org/10.30844/wi_2020_n1-cheng", 
							 Abstract= "Mobile applications (apps) have long fueled the growth of digital business models. However, an increasing reluctance amongst smartphone users to download them has surfaced. For services of infrequent use, it is questionable whether native apps and their respective app stores still offer a suitable development strategy. In China, a novel phenomenon responds to the debate, introducing lightweight micro-apps embedded into the social messaging platform of WeChat. Known as Mini-Programs (MPs), WeChat enables third-party developers to create light apps within its own infrastructure, essentially creating an ecosystem of apps within an app. Supported by an exploratory case study, we shed light on this platform innovation and investigate its implications within the field of mobile platform ecosystems. Our findings implicate that the one-sizefits- all approach of native apps as a general-purpose technology does not meet specific needs of platform users and could be supplemented by innovations such as MPs to fill the gap.

", 
							 Keywords= "Mobile Platform Ecosystems, Platform Innovation, Multi-Sided Platform Ecosystems, WeChat, Mini-Programs", 
							}
					
Kathleen Cheng, Maximilian Schreieck, Manuel Wiesche and Helmut Krcmar: Emergence of a Post-App Era – An Exploratory Case Study of the WeChat Mini-Program Ecosystem. Online: https://doi.org/10.30844/wi_2020_n1-cheng (Abgerufen 20.08.22)

Abstract

Abstract

Mobile applications (apps) have long fueled the growth of digital business models. However, an increasing reluctance amongst smartphone users to download them has surfaced. For services of infrequent use, it is questionable whether native apps and their respective app stores still offer a suitable development strategy. In China, a novel phenomenon responds to the debate, introducing lightweight micro-apps embedded into the social messaging platform of WeChat. Known as Mini-Programs (MPs), WeChat enables third-party developers to create light apps within its own infrastructure, essentially creating an ecosystem of apps within an app. Supported by an exploratory case study, we shed light on this platform innovation and investigate its implications within the field of mobile platform ecosystems. Our findings implicate that the one-sizefits- all approach of native apps as a general-purpose technology does not meet specific needs of platform users and could be supplemented by innovations such as MPs to fill the gap.

Keywords

Schlüsselwörter

Mobile Platform Ecosystems, Platform Innovation, Multi-Sided Platform Ecosystems, WeChat, Mini-Programs

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