Tencent's Friends app was shut down in 2017, but it's testing it again with a focus on user verification as WeChat users complain about the chat app on Weibo
Tencent is once again testing its social networking app Pengyou, or "Friends," as users of the company's ubiquitous WeChat messaging platform have increasingly complained online that the country's biggest social networking app has become too work-oriented.
Tencent is currently testing the app with invite codes after previously discontinuing the app back in 2017. The revamped Pengyou asks users to upload personal credentials like diplomas or a company letter for verification. This is similar to Tencent's new dating app Qingliao, which is also in testing and asks users to verify their student status or company. Tencent declined to comment.
This new approach to social networking could be seen as more private and focused on fostering genuine personal connections. Qingliao, for example, promotes itself as focused on "high quality socializing."
WeChat, on the other hand, has become the default tool in China for facilitating business connections and distributing media content. The hashtag #WeChatHasBecomeTheDefaultOfficeApp recently went viral on Weibo, with comments from tens of thousands of WeChat users. But Pengyou also offers to connect users to people from the same company.
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