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WeChat is launching a new service in South Africa. The service is called GoBeauty, a smartphone app for booking beauty treatments.
The invite to the launch of GoBeauty is short on details and provides nothing on whether this startup has been bought out by WeChat. GoBeauty is today available to download as a standalone app on Android and iOS. Whether it will continue to be a standalone app or become exclusive to WeChat users is unclear.
WeChat is becoming quite the platform from which many apps build, operate and grow. This off course is not without its problems. Wide reach and expansion and the ultimate freedom of startups that launch within it, being some of the problems. Though WeChat has more than 500 million active users and this can mean a big market for a startup, the exclusive access to an app can be limiting.
According to a recent invite, GoBeauty will launch on 13 May 2015 in Cape Town, South Africa.
The app promises to enable users to browse spas, beauty salons, laser and aesthetic clinics on the BeautyMap. From there, users can choose their treatments, time and book them directly or request a call back from the salon with their preferences. The BeautyMap also allows users to find a salon in their destination and book it or simply browse for one when at a specific area and it will show salons in the vicinity.
GoBeauty’s interface, both within WeChat and as a standalone app is not that different; it has a pink interface, same options and services:
On both, WeChat and standalone apps, users have a profile can view confirmed bookings, pending confirmation and previous bookings. Users can also rate venues. The app claims that is has over 1 000 salons and spas in all areas across South Africa.
On Google Play, GoBeauty has between 500 and 1000 installs.
Update: In a statement made to Ventureburn, WeChat noted the following: “GoBeauty is no longer a standalone app available in app stores and will now only be available to users through WeChat exclusively. Through this partnership GoBeauty will offer users a mobile portal to beauty and wellness treatments, which they can access whenever it suits them best.”