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May 2018 saw Chinese messaging platform WeChat launch a new service, allowing couples to file for divorce on the app. Via the trial ‘divorce’ functionality, couples can book an appointment with their local divorce registration office. At the moment the feature is only available to users in Guangdong province, but Tencent has plans to roll it out nationwide.

We’ve been writing about how messaging apps have become end-to-end lifestyle ecosystems for years now (including this report from way back in 2015!). But it’s a trend still rich in opportunity, driven by the demands of the 1.8 billion regular messenger app users. And just when you thought WeChat covered everything, this example shows how the app will continue to embed itself further into users’ lives.

For readers outside China, the ins and outs of WeChat aren’t especially important. But this innovation illustrates a few key insights that you can benefit from. First, it isn’t even that surprising. It’s just expected. There isn’t anything in consumers’ lives that they won’t handle via digital channels. However, make sure you approach your digital strategy right. Don’t make it technology-driven (“Quick, what’s our chatbot strategy?!”). Customers don’t care! They care about convenience.

Winning trend-driven innovators understand – and then stay laser-focused on – the needs and wants of their customers. And then use those needs and wants to guide to which platforms, devices and technologies to innovate around. Food for thought for your next technology roadmap planning session.

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