Since September, VeSync has been releasing monthly events and in-app promotions through the Discover tab in the app, a place for blog posts, sales, and monthly events. In February, VeSync released an in-app game where users can tend to a virtual garden and earn real life rewards. This game is planned to be a permanent part of the app.
If you haven’t tried the game out yet, it’s surprisingly simple. Claim a daily supply of water and use it to water your garden. That’s it. Once the trees in your garden grow, they will regularly bear fruit. Fruit can be traded for real life rewards, like coupons. The current prizes listed are 25%-30% discounts on smart light switches and outlets, redeemable for a small price of 2-3 fruits.
The game’s goal is to reward the community, especially users who use the app frequently. With just a few seconds a day, players get access to sizeable discounts on VeSync products. The game also highlights environmental awareness, one of VeSync's main goals as a lifestyle brand.
The combination of VeSync’s growing library of smart devices with their new in-app game makes them a unique service. Apps with both primary functions and additional ones, like minigames or social features, are rare but not unheard of. Perhaps the biggest is WeChat, China’s most popular social media app with over 1 billion monthly active users.
According to Business Insider, WeChat lets users instant message and video conference each other, play in-app games together—even pay bills and schedule doctor appointments. It’s become so successful, its users in China know it as “an app for everything”.
The closest thing the United States currently has to WeChat is Facebook. Facebook has an API (Application Programming Interface) that lets users sign up for most other apps with just their Facebook account. Facebook owns WhatsApp, Instagram, and Oculus Rift, and they recently launched Facebook Marketplace, a digital space to buy and sell belongings.
Amazon, another big name, has its own ambitious goals. With a strong foundation in online retail, Amazon has gone on to video-streaming services, grocery delivery, and even game-streaming with Twitch. Their plan to constantly expand into multiple services will likely continue.
While VeSync isn't trying to become Facebook, Amazon, or even WeChat’s “app for everything”, they have become a leader in smart home solutions. Their new in-app game further sets them apart from competitors. Maybe someday, they’ll be known as the app that has a device for everything.