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Tencent updates Tim workplace app amid strong growth from WeChat Work and collaboration software sector

Is the neglected-but-not-forgotten app ready for its second wind?

Despite bringing its collaboration app WeChat Work to new heights, Tencent has not completely forgotten its other, less acclaimed office product, Tim, and has been testing a new version of the app since last Friday, according to the firm’s official sources.

First released in 2016, Tim was a workplace-friendly version of Tencent’s legacy instant messenger QQ. The internet giant created the app by removing the social features of QQ—like blogging platform QZone, customized chatboxes, and games with virtual avatars—instead outfitting the app with a 10 GB-cloud drive, online document co-editing, calendars, and mailbox management.

However, Tim failed to find success like Tencent’s main office app, WeChat Work, which was launched in April 2016 and quickly garnered 31 million users by the end of that year. While Tencent never disclosed user data for Tim, it is likely trailing, currently sitting at 30th on the iOS App Store business category while WeChat Work is 3rd.

Now, as the office collaboration app market booms to levels previously unknown on the back of the coronavirus outbreak, which forced millions in China to work from home, Tencent has been revamping Tim to compete with Alibaba, which owns DingTalk, and ByteDance, which runs Feishu.

The updated beta version of Tim, which is available on iOS, Android, and Windows, offers functions including group video calls, the ability to skip through parts of voice messages, and scrolling screenshots within the app. While largely similar to other apps in its vertical, users can log in to Tim through their WeChat accounts, a function Tencent seeks to leverage as its flagship app has 1.15 billion monthly active users.

While Tim has gone through 13 versions in the last year (for its iOS version), mostly for bug fixes, WeChat Work has undergone at least 25. In December 2019, WeChat Work claimed to serve more than 2.5 million enterprises and 60 million monthly active users.