Patent published on October 12, 2023

New Patent Could Make Sharing Searches on WeChat Safer and More Efficient

In today's technology-driven landscape, searching for content online and sharing it in a chat group can often lead to information leaks. This issue is particularly apparent in chat groups with many participants, where personal search content could potentially be viewed by individuals not directly connected with the search initiator. This problem of privacy has now been addressed by a recent patent by Tencent Technology (Shenzhen) Company, patent number US20230325449A1.

Currently, when you want to share online search content with friends, everybody in a chat group can see it. It's a bit like shouting out your internet search query in a crowded room - not ideal, especially when it might be something personal. Further to this is the unavoidable waste of resources and decreased efficiency due to wrongly transmitted content and the constant need for users to specify where the original information came from.

Designed to provide a solution, the new patent deals with a method of sharing your online searches. The unique aspect of this method is its ability to single out specific individuals in a chat group to share content with. It works like this: When you are searching for something online, a message about it featuring a special note goes to your chosen friend's screen. This note specifies where the search content originated. If the recipient of the note clicks on it, they can see more details about your search, but importantly, this is limited to only those individuals specified by the sender.

Looking towards the future, we envisage a marked difference in how users interact with each other online. When this patented solution becomes common practice, it would resemble a world where your online queries aren't shouted out in a crowded room, but instead, whispered into the chosen friend's ear.

Just imagine a scenario where you are planning a surprise party for a friend. You might be searching for perfect gift ideas. Using the current systems, if you share the link to a gift, everyone in your group can see it, spoiling the surprise. But with the patented method, only your chosen friend would see what you are searching, and the surprise remains a surprise!

However, it's crucial to note that as with any patent, this is a disclosure of a concept—abstract, an idea—and not an actual market-ready product. There's no guarantee that this method will be integrated into the WeChat platform, or any other platform for that matter. Considering the potential it has to bring about a significant change in how we share our online searches, we can only hope to see it transform from patent to reality.

P.S. Even though this new method shows great promise for maintaining privacy and improving efficiency, it's just a patented idea right now. Just like any other patent, there's no guarantee that it will be brought to market.

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