Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

WeChat would tell you otherwise. They launched a taxi-cab hailing service in January. In the first month, 21 million cabs were hailed. http://www.techinasia.com/wechat-21-million-taxi-rides-booke...

This is why messaging is a threat to Google and Facebook -- it's an entire ecosystem that sidesteps their channel.

The truth is Tencent invested in a big cab hailing service Didi Dache, and promoted its payment service by paying both drivers and customers. Tencent wants to eat shares from Alipay.

There are two tech giants (Tencent and Alibaba) trying to grasp the mobile payment market. In fact they are "paying" users for taxi.

Nothing wrong with that -- it's just paying an acquisition cost. PayPal paid out millions: $10 for new registrations, and $10 to the referring user back in 1999 (?). By incentivizing customers to add payment info, it takes the friction out of future opportunities.

Wechat has the concept of "public" accounts, with an API for managing conversations and interactions with customers. THAT is the secret sauce. See grata.com for an example of what is possible with a chat API. Facebook will surely add an API to WhatsApp.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact