WeChat or微信in Chinese is an instant messaging application that is quickly becoming the most popular in the world.
Recall that initially WeChat was only available on the Chinese territory, but for 2 years now, it has opened to the world, especially in Asia and in South America, where few months ago it had made a campaign promotion with the football star Lionel Messi.
Indeed in the space of only 4 years, Tencent group with its flagship application reached nearly 600 million active users.
You can get a feeling for the evolution of this phenomenon with the following graphic:
For your information the app WhatsApp has nearly 750 million active users but it arrived on the market way before.
Why is WeChat so popular?
When launching the WeChat application, it was very similar to WhatsApp with the basic functions of a chat application (call, IM, send photo, video).
However, these last two years WeChat has evolved tremendously, it now offers features reuniting Facebook, PayPal, Shazam…
Here are all the features of WeChat in more details:
Live Chat :
This feature is basically a Walkie-Talkie application, you’ll tell me that if we can call this option is useless…BUT! The entire process is going through internet, when you make a call it is made on the internet from your phone credit, whereas when you go through the walkie-talkie that passes through the radio bands, this means that even if you don’t have any credit to your phone you can always call your friends.
GroupChat QR code :
In the West, the QR code is not very popular, however in China it is ubiquitous (in the subway, to shoping online, on business cards). This functionality is used to edit a group QR code, for example to organize an event: simply send the QR code to all of your contacts and they will have all the information about the event, they will moreover have the ability to chat among themselves.
Chat History Backup :
A feature which we do not use every day, but for example if you lose your phone, you simply connect to WeChat online, and you’ll have the ability to recover the entire contents of your conversations in minutes.
Note however, this feature requires a prior change in setting to work.
Video Call :
Regarding the explicit name of this feature, it is not useful to present more detail. It simply allows to call your friends in Visio.
We must recognize that this is a very good compromise to Skype or Apple FaceTime, which are sometimes difficult to access without using a VPN.
The Moments feature is extremely popular on WeChat, with it you can edit a post and follow the news feeds of your friends like on Facebook. Lots of brand make their product campaign on it. The brand ISLA &CARAIBICA (Website) in particular made a very big promotion recently via this feature.
Probably by far the star feature of WeChat !!!
No need to write more, it allows to make a call, we find this feature in WhatsApp or other competing applications such as Line, Skype, Viber or with the recent update to Facebook Messenger.
Web Wechat :
Simply install a small executable on your computer and you can continue the conversation with your friends directly on WeChat. We know Chinese people are highly connected with this function, no need to always switch between your phone and your computer. Everything is in one place.
An application that is not necessarily useful but Tencent group wanted to please the Chinese users with an impressive panel of emoticons. They are very fond of animated emoticons, we also find a great deal about the application QQ.
As many social networks do, you have the opportunity to talk to many people.
This feature hides a lot of different options. The main interest is to find people around you that shake their phone at the same time.
But on the Chinese version, this feature is able to give you the weather where you are located or tell you what music you listen to. It can replace the famous Shazam application.
We regret that this function is available only in the Chinese version, perhaps in a future update.
The title of this function is pretty explicit, you can send your location to your friends to find you. It allows you to follow their journey in real time and is able to estimate the arrival time of your friends based on their speed of movement (walking, car, subway …). See what real time localisation can get you below
A function that let you send an image or text anyone. This feature is not useful either. We must recognize it’s pretty funny!!!
You’ll understand WeChat gathers a set of application that many Westerners use every day.
If you want to develop the market in China, we strongly recommend you to create a company account on this application, if you want a specialized agency WeChat we can help you.
And it’s not over !!!
WeChat also offers online wallet features. This feature can replace your card at least in major Chinese cities. You can pay for your train tickets, plane, taxi, your subway subscription… and the ability to send money to your friends.
For information no less than 14 billion Yuan were transited via the application last year. The group Tencent is valued at over 200 billion dollars (Hong Kong Stock Exchange) and WeChat application represents more than 120 billion in market capitalization on its own.
For all expatriates this feature is very useful if you do not have a Chinese credit card, because many of places do not accept non-Chinese credit cards.
With this overview of what offers WeChat application, I invite you to test it to make your own opinion.
Social media in China interests you? Go take a look there then