WeChat: Here’s What You Need To Know About China’s Billion-user Messaging App

You may be well aware about messaging apps like Snapchat, Twitter, Whatsapp, Voxer, Tumblr, Instagram and Viber but did you have any idea about the app that has more active users than all of the above? Yes, you heard that right. China’s leading and most profitable internet company Tencent launched WeChat back in 2011. Since then, WeChat’s statistics has skyrocketed with 1 billion daily active users( only 100 million of which were outside of China) added every now and then and 200 billion people downloaded the app. If you are outside of China, it’s obvious you have not heard that much about WeChat. But for people in China, it is a go-to app.

For those who’ve never heard of WeChat, WeChat is a Chinese multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment app which started out as a messaging service but later transformed into an app where you can do anything from making payments to hailing a ride or even booking flights. WeChat offers its users what Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, Venmo, GrubHub, Amazon, Uber, Apple Pay, etc. together offer in the West. All in a single app! Isn’t it exciting?

How Has WeChat Done It All?

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WeChat isn’t just a messaging platform, it also is a social powerhouse that connects not only family and friends, but also businesses to consumers. Dominating the app market since its introduction, it is a social messaging app that has largely replaced work emails, and it also is a social platform for mobile payments, e-commerce, train bookings, and blogs, as well as a host to a world of other apps.

When people can find all these features in one app, why would they search for any other? WeChat has been able to capture a large range of users from under 18 to over 60, reaching most of China’s population. Most important of all, WeChat doesn’t charge a user to signup in the platform, it’s completely free for a user!

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WeChat Features

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WeChat working technique is similar to Whatsapp and Viber, allowing users to send text or voice messages, pictures and videos to other users that also use WeChat, and enabling group chats. What more is it has took it to another level by developing into a whole social, lifestyle, information and shopping app.

WeChat acquires five critical components for publishers to make it a new social platform worth considering. This components include Moments, Subscriptions, Pay, Shake and Groups/Broadcast.

1.WeChat Moments:

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WeChat moments relies on building contacts. Your contact list isn’t visible to people and only people who you have verified as a contact can view your Moments unlike Facebook which publicly display a news feed items and comments on them. Only you can see them in WeChat. Hence, it provides a more secure and private interaction with individual contacts.

2. WeChat Subscriptions:

Here is how WeChat subscription works: a subscription is built into the friend list. If they tap on the ad content, the user gets exposed to a range of companies and related apps. For example, Companies like Tesla have built interactive user content on WeChat which includes multiple tabs that offers different product experiences like taking a test drive, with a chat bot feature for automated responses.

The point I am trying to prove here is that it is a platform for you to do pretty much anything you want. It is a platform for you to utilize and build a content brand initiative. This is what makes subscription accounts a valuable tool for publishers to reach global markets.

3. WeChat Pay:

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WeChat Pay enables users to make quick payments using their smartphones. It has features like Quick Pay, QR Code Payment, In-app payment, In-app Web-based payment that help to fulfill different payment scenarios. It is a pathway for publishers to create a repeating subscription product for mobiles.

4. WeChat Shake:

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WeChat Shake enables you to connect with random people around the world. When you select this feature and find a person, it will notify you to start chatting. To make the most out of this feature, you will need to activate your location settings. It helps you connect to the online and offline world only if you need to. It can be a great influencing discovery tool for publishers.

5. WeChat Groups/Broadcast:

This feature is useful for anyone looking to create a large audience with common interests. Anybody looking to join or create a group bigger than 100 is required to link his or her bank card to their WeChat account.

Alternatively, you can use Broadcast feature to mass message your contact list (without revealing their identities), if you wish to create newsletters.

CONCLUSION: WeChat has been successful in setting its footprints in the now digital world and it looks like the footprint won’t disappear any sooner. It is the fourth most downloaded app in the world. WeChat has its 100 million users among its 200 million users alone in China and it is sure to reach places with its efficiency. If you are planning to go to China any sooner, make sure you have a WeChat.

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