Chinese messaging app WeChat joins V&A digital collection



Calling all mobile geeks in China... do you know you are using an artifact from one of the world’s leading art and design museums when you are chatting to your friends online every day?

Chinese instant messaging app WeChat has become the world’s first social media platform to be put on display at the prestigious Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London.

WeChat on display at the V&A Museum

The V&A has announced that it has included WeChat in its Gallery for Design, Architecture and Digital collection, allowing visitors to see it in action on both smartphone and tablet.

The WeChat team made a special android package kit for the display version.

Although it runs without access to its servers, visitors are still able to experience everything that makes WeChat so popular in China, such as chatting and browsing through Moments, the in-app platform where users can upload photos and videos.

Bubble Pup stickers

The design sketch of Bubble Pup

Together with the app itself, the museum is also showing a series of GIF stickers , called Bubble Pup , which was created by WeChat developers based on puppies, and several sketches tell the story of how a chat sticker is born.

Released in 2011, WeChat has become an integral part of Chinese people's daily life with the app itself boasting, “WeChat is a lifestyle”.

With an estimated 900 million users, the app is not only an instant messaging tool but also multi-purpose mobile software including commerce and payment services.

WeChat and digital stickers are seen on display at the V&A Museum.

With the aim of representing the most influential contemporary design objects, the museum welcomed the addition of WeChat to the collection.

“It is a fantastically important addition to our collection of digital design, reflecting the ever-changing way we communicate and consume information,” Tim Reeve, deputy director of the V&A told AFP.