Messaging app WeChat adds WeChat Sports for fitness tracking

By Aditi Pai
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WeChatOver the past few months China-based WeChat, an instant messaging app that has around 500 million active users, has added fitness tracking integration into its app, according to a post from TechInAsia. WeChat is a subsidiary of Tencent.

The WeChat app is available in the US, Hong Kong, India, China, Thailand, and Indonesia, although the new feature is currently only available in Chinese.

WeChat first announced its intent to add health and fitness tracking in July 2014. At the time, the company released an API for connected hardware developers to integrate data into its app, according to a post in CNET.

Users can add the new feature, called WeChat Sports, by opting in to a WeChat Sports account inside the app. At that point, the app will be able to pull data from different trackers, like Fitbit, Nike+ FuelBand, iHealth Edge, or Xiaomi Mi Band. The app can also pull activity data directly from the phone if the user has a phone that auto-senses step counts, like the iPhone 6. WeChat Sports will present users with a daily leaderboard that compares users' activity to their friends' numbers.

WeChat aims to eventually expand beyond activity tracking. In November, at the 2014 Tencent Partner Conference, the company showcased integrations with various health devices, including iHealth's blood pressure monitor.