Today at Maker Faire Bay Area, WeChat launches its new WeChat Maker initiative, which aims for developers to build fun new mini programs inside the WeChat ecosystem. Leveraging Javascript and the WeChat maker API, creators can design programs that hit on the whimsical-to-delightful side of the coding world. Examples include a tool to help people slice cakes into perfect slices; a digital magnifying-glass application; and a virtual fan that can be set to low/medium/high speeds for hot days — while it doesn’t actually blow air, the team reports that the psychological effect of the app helps create a cooling sensation.

WeChat is a fascinating service. Having grown to over 1.1 billion users since its launch eight years ago, the app encompasses many modern online services, with messaging and WeChat Pay being two of the most widely used, but also including tools for booking appointments, paying utilities, and more. With such a large user base, most companies now have ported some of their business into WeChat as well, allowing interactions, services, and more, without having to install additional phone apps. WeChat Maker is intended to help expand this ecosystem further.

To get started with WeChat Maker, you’ll need to install the WeChat app, then inside it, just start the new Maker tool. The company has created a handbook that steps through an overview and provides QR codes to help navigate getting the proper pieces installed on your phone.

We look forward to seeing what you make.