Southeast Asia’s race for the “super-app” crown is often framed as a competition for who can become most similar to WeChat. But in this comparison, something was always missing.
Yes, Go-Jek and Grab have achieved mass adoption for their ride-hailing, food delivery, and mobile wallets, but neither app has the social stickiness of WeChat. The Chinese ‘mother of all super apps’ is, first and foremost, a tool that solves people’s everyday communication needs. A messaging app with multiple add-on features.
Go-Jek is now giving this a shot, but going the other way round. Its offering chat to users who come to order transportation and food.
The chat feature is displayed on the bottom of Go-Jek’s app homepage. You can chat one-on-one, or create groups with up to 100 people.
It’s integrated with Go-Jek’s mobile wallet, Go-Pay. Users can split bills, and transfer or request Go-Pay credit. Sending credit was already possible before, but without the option to chat with the recipient or sender.
The feature has just launched, so it’s too early to speculate about its adoption. Indonesians are already solving their daily messaging needs through WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Line. These messaging apps are so dominant that they have crowded out the once highly popular BBM.
Go-Jek chat could sneak its way into becoming a useful feature on Go-Jek. Besides bill splitting, it might become useful for sharing food recommendations, although it does not seem optimized for that yet. Food delivery is one of Go-Jek’s key pillars. It could just as well prove to be pretty useless.
Chat is the latest major addition to Go-Jek, which has been busy launching one new category after the other.
Last week, it introduced an online shopping featured called Go-Mall in partnership with e-commerce platform JD.id. Go-Jek also enriched the content it offers on Go-News through a collaboration with local media outlet Kumparan, and Go-Komik that allows users to read comic strips from local comic creators.
Editor: Nadine Freischlad