WeChat, a free messaging and calling app, has deviced a pretty clever but ‘politically significant’ change in the app’s start screen.
As a WeChat user, whenever you launch the app, you’ll notice that this China’s favorite social media platform displays a human silhouette standing before the Earth.
This image is called the “Blue Marble” photo taken on December 7, 1972 by Apollo 17 crew members travelling toward the moon at a distance of about 29,000 kilometers (18,000 miles) from the surface. It is by far one of the most reproduced images in human history.
However, Shanghaiist reported that WeChat will be using a slightly different image, in the next couple of days. The photo to be used is from a less popular local artist — an image of the Earth taken by China Weather Satellite.
While the ‘Blue Marble’ almost distinctively features the entire coastline of Africa, this new image displays China right in the middle.
WeChat revealed that the change in focus is intentional as it wants to draw the attention of the million users to the wonders of Chinese civilization.
It further explained that they have used the ‘Blue Marble’ that features the continent of Africa — the birthplace of mankind as it was the perfect photo for an app when it was just starting out. It is unclear though how the decision will affect Africa.
WeChat, even without the government assistance, aims to challenge Facebook and WhatsApp for mobile supremacy, as per a Shanghaiist story.