It looks like Snapchat is the latest Western app to take a leaf out of WeChat’s playbook. Los Angeles-based Snap Inc. on Thursday rolled out its Snap Games platform that lets users play real-time, multiplayer games inside the company’s flagship messaging app. Without downloads or installations, players can access these games through Snapchat’s chat feature and invite their friends to join. Snap Games will be competing against similar in-app gaming platforms like Facebook’s Instant Games and Apple’s iMessage Games. It also follows forays into video games by Google and Apple, both of which recently announced their subscription-based gaming services. The idea of in-app gaming is familiar to China’s WeChat users. In December 2017, WeChat – operated by Chinese social media giant Tencent – launched a new feature allowing users to play games inside the app without having to download them separately. The so-called mini games soon took off with viral titles such as Jump Jump , where players move a hopping block from one platform to another by tapping the smartphone screen. At its peak, Jump Jump had 100 million daily users at the start of last year, attracting global brands like McDonald’s and Nike to place ads in the game. Viral short video apps in China including Kuaishou and Douyin – whose overseas version is known as TikTok – are now also testing their own mini game functions, highlighting an intensified battle among Chinese social media companies to grab more screen time from the country’s millennials. The WeChat story: how Tencent's super-app changed China Started out in 2011 as China’s answer to WhatsApp, WeChat has morphed into an all-in-one app that allows its one billion monthly active users to shop, play games, hail taxis, order meals, and even make a divorce appointment – all without leaving the app. Snapchat is not the only Western app to take inspiration from WeChat. In March, Facebook announced its plan to provide services including video chats, payment, e-commerce, and “ultimately a platform for many other kinds of private services,” which resembles WeChat’s super-app status. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg even said that he regretted not learning from WeChat sooner. Snap Games offers six original titles across genres from battle royale to car racing to zombie shooter. In Bitmoji Party , for example, players can compete with friends as their cartoonish avatars in a series of quick, wacky mini-games while texting or voice chatting. Snapchat will make money from these games by letting players watch six-second, unskippable ads in exchange for in-game boosts. The app will then split ad revenues with game developers. In the fourth quarter of 2018, Snapchat was able to maintain its community of 186 million daily active users, curbing a user exodus as Facebook-owned social media platforms like Instagram became more popular among American teenagers. Shares in New York-listed Snap are down about 22 per cent over the past 12 months, but have had a comeback since the start of this year.