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Tencent’s instant messaging service WeChat has released an API that would allow mobile apps to connect with their corresponding WeChat official accounts, reports TechNode.

It says this API will allow developers to add an entry point in their apps to redirect users to their respective official accounts on WeChat.

While existing followers of the official account on WeChat will be directed to the chat interface, new users will be directed to the account profile page. This feature is however available only for WeChat version 5.3 and above only. This move is expected to allow WeChat to attract more users to the host of other in-app services.

WeChat had initially released a set of APIs for verified business accounts that enabled brands to build custom features on top of the WeChat app, in October last year.

Earlier this year, WeChat had started allowing owners of verified official accounts with WeChat Payment integration to set up in-app e-commerce stores. WeChat Payment is the mobile payment solution developed by Tencent-owned online payments service company Tenpay. This feature was previous limited to Weixin, the version of WeChat offered in China.

AskMe Tie-up: In January this year, WeChat had tied-up with local search engine AskMe to provide location-specific local searches, deals and classifieds through an official account ‘AskMeSearch’ on WeChat.

Besides this, it also has tie-ups with brands like Hungama Music, Cafe Coffee Day, Big Bazaar, 9XM and others who have an official account on WeChat. WeChat had mentioned that official accounts created in partnership with them get access to WeChat API.

Meanwhile, WeChat’s biggest competitor WhatsApp which claims to have 70 million active users in India, doesn’t offer an official API yet which has led to companies depend on unofficial workarounds to offer their services on the messaging app.