Social Media News Update – August 15

As Copycat WeChat Dominates China, Xiaomi’s Chat App Miliao Shifts Direction

It’s hard to imagine WeChat, now the fifth most used smartphone app in the world, has a predecessor. Xiaomi’s Miliao was the first big chat app in China. But this dominance was short-lived as a year later, WeChat stole the scene. Miliao has now buckled up to find its own space in the heated instant messaging battleground. The new Miliao will focus on facilitating users in micro-communities based on common interests like cooking or swimming. As the app currently carries more than 500,000 micro-communities, it seems that this niche may just put Miliao back on the map. Read more here.

Facebook Makes Mobile Pages More Functional 

Facebook is equipping its mobile Pages with more functionalities. It recently struck a deal with OpenTable, allowing users to reserve 20,000 North American restaurant tables directly from their Facebook accounts.  This may be a game changer for local information and discovery sites like Yelp or Foursquare, as Facebook pushes to be a one-stop shop. By directly driving traffic to businesses, Facebook can encourage more advertising on its Pages. Although this feature is not available in Asia yet, it is inevitable that Facebook will roll it out worldwide soon enough. Read more here.

Thai Government Plans to Monitor LINE Chat App

Thailand police are planning to retrieve conversations from the popular instant messaging chat app LINE to investigate those that violate the law or threaten national security. If LINE agrees, all 15 million LINE user names and their conversations will be sent to the Thai police. The police have failed to gather information from social networks like Whatsapp and Facebook as these networks operate in the US, which did not grant access. Undoubtedly, this announcement induced outrage from the online community, with many claiming they will switch over to other IM platforms such as Whatsapp or Wechat. Read more here.