In July, Meituan had started an internal test for its new feature called “Fanxiaoquan”, a social media platform which allows users to recommend food to their Wechat friends or to a phone number by sharing food delivery orders.
This new function is similar to the Moments feature available on WeChat, but the post content is only limited to food delivery orders. After opening up the function, users can enjoy the corresponding services in the Messages on Meituan App. They can comment and “like” the food orders shared by friends, and even order the same food after clicking the button indicating “eat this too”.
Since this new function is still in the testing phase, it can only be opened up through contact invitation. In the later stage, a real-time chat function may be added.
Chinese netizens have different opinions on the new function. One Weibo user said: “Why do these apps set up social channels? Don’t they know social anxiety is common these days?”
According to the financial report of Meituan, as of the end of March, the annual number of customers and active merchants both set record highs: 570 million yuan and 7.1 million respectively. However, as the Meituan CEO Wang Xing said in a telephone conference, at least half of their customers came from the 2,600 cities and countries where the company has committed efforts to move into. This means there is still much room for growth of the company’s userbase in the takeout and e-commerce market.
Before “Fanxiaoyuan”, there was another App of the same type called Snackpass, where users could share the information of their takeout orders. The app had an average penetration rate of over 80% after being launched under the New Campus. According to usage statistics, users on Snackpass place orders an average of 4.5 times a month. With this App, customers can see what they’re friends are eatingwhich leads to further sales to new and returning customers. This method ofsharing has also enabled a rapid increase of Snackpass’s user scale and consumption.
In addition to this product, companies such as SnapChat and Facebook are also beginning to enter this new field.