What is WeChat?
Tencent’s WeChat is a mobile app that allows users to connect with friends across platforms. The download is totally free from iPhone App Store, Google Play, Windows 8 Store, Symbian, and BlackBerry. You might wonder, how big is WeChat? It is 300 million big in terms of the users number, according to TechAsia.
The similar dupe for WeChat in smartphone app market is a mobile messenger app called “Whatsapp.” However, WeChat has more features that allow users get to know more friends via “Drift Bottle,” “Shake”, and “Look Around.” I personally enjoy how the app allows me to customize my own Emoticons. Here is a simple listicle of WeChat’s features:
- Video Call.WeChat allows users to make face-to-face video calls by simply press “+” and select “video call” icon under the chat window. The process is just like dialing your contact in your cell phone’s contact book.
- Moments. Want to show some exciting pictures you took and share those memorable moments with your WeChat friends? The feature of Moments makes it all possible. You can also customize who can see yourpicture by visibility settings
- Voice Chat. I always enjoy the voice chat feature. It turns your smartphone into a walkie-talkie. You can use that feature under the chat window by simply switch “send message” into “hold to talk.” When you finish a sentence, simply release the “hold to talk” button to send your voice chat message.
- Web WeChat. This is a new feature for me. Before I did research on WeChat, I didn’t know it allows me to chat with friends between smartphone and computers. According to the description on official website of WeChat, you can “click on the magic wand icon at upper right and select ‘Web WeChat’” to start cross-platform chatting. To be honest, I never used this function before. I’ll have to explore it further to provide any deeper information other than official description.
- Emoticons. Customizable emoticon is one of my favorite features in WeChat. Besides a huge number of emoji collections that WeChat provides, users can also add their own emoticons by simply download from Website, or choosing you’re your own photo album.
- Group Chat. Opening your own group chat by select the wand button “start chat” and then choose your friends whom you want to join in the group chat. WeChat allows you to add 40 members at maximum in the group chat section.
- Shake. Want to get some new friends on WeChat but don’t know where to start? Shake your phone and see who are also shaking too at the moment locally and around the world. “Shake” is an interesting way to discover new users and corporate accounts by just few shake of your smartphone. It is also an awesome time killer. Just be very careful not to reveal any of your personal information to strangers.
- Look Around. “I am a newbie in WeChat, but I don’t want to use ‘Shake’ because I feel uncomfortable talking to people globally. I want some local friends just like What Badoo does.” That’s totally fine. Select “Look Around” under the “Social” tab to see who are nearby, and send your greetings by simply one click.
- Drift Bottle. We all know drift bottle is pretty cool. It allows us to meet with strangers yet remains a slightly sense of mystery. The only concerns are, who has time to buy a bottle, write a message down, seal it, travel to bayside and then throw it in the sea? WeChat simulate the whole process. You can “throw a bottle” into “the sea” with text message or voice message. Someone from anywhere in the world will pick it! The process is anonymous for both sides unless you decide to make friends with the owner of the drift bottle.
- Social Connect. As an app created in China, it’s really cool that Tencent has the vision to support the international social network giant – Facebook. WeChat also integrates the biggest social network in China – QQ (Of course, they belong to the same company!). I never use Facebook to log in my WeChat, because I use QQ number to log in my WeChat account.
As a PR pro, you might wonder: “OK, this sounds really cool but what can I do with it professionally?” I found a case study for you guys to look- Starbucks Gets More Social in China.
My questions for you:
Based on those features, do you think WeChat will become popular globally?
What’s your biggest concern about using WeChat?
Do you think WeChat is a promising new way of doing PR?