WeChat Users Having a Cow Over App’s Farm-inspired Status Function

And today, in bizarre news...

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8:33 PM HKT, Thu April 14, 2022 1 mins read

Some attentive WeChat users recently discovered a — uh, unique — function on the Chinese super-app: You can add animal-themed stickers to your ‘status’ page, a WeChat function that has been around since at least January 2021.

Other users pointed out that it was possible to further customize your background image by adding pastoral elements, such as farm and prairie imagery. Fans of this bucolic look have coined a new term, ‘WeChat farm.’

Although the agriculture-inspired status function is not particularly conspicuous on the platform, ‘WeChat farm’ has Chinese netizens hooked. On the Chinese microblogging platform Weibo, a related hashtag has accumulated more than 700 million views, with many sharing screenshots of their ‘farms.’

wechat farm

As far as digital livestock goes, some users evidently harbor a soft spot for geese

wechat farm

Aquatic creatures are a fair inclusion on any user status page, given the prevalence of aquaponics and fish farms in our day and age

One WeChat user placed a deer in the foreground of a field of green shared by brown Friesian dairy cows

One WeChat user placed a deer in the foreground of a green field shared by brown Friesian dairy cows

Several ‘farms’ tread into the realm of fantasy. For example, the status page above draws inspiration from the moon rabbit in Chinese folklore

Many attribute the popularity of ‘WeChat farm’ to quarantine-induced boredom, and they’re probably not wrong. A netizen wrote on Weibo, “Because of the pandemic, I am stuck at home, and I am so bored. Otherwise, who would play this?”

Sentimentality is another factor for its sudden hype. Despite having almost nothing in common with a video game, ‘WeChat farm’ has been compared by some netizens to Happy Farm, a popular online farm management game released by Tencent — WeChat’s parent company — in 2008. It was all the rage among Chinese Millennials at the time.

“Maybe ‘WeChat farm’ brings us back to a time when we were all playing Happy Farm,” posted one netizen. “Back then, we even set our alarms to steal vegetables from one another.”

A handful of netizens have even jokingly linked its popularity to lockdown-related food shortages in Shanghai. Someone boldly declared, “I want to raise a pig on the farm because I really need meat.”

All images via Weibo

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