WeChat: The All-in-One Mobile Messaging App
By Adam Parnala | Published 12:34 PM, Jun 03, 2013
WeChat is one of the most popular mobile voice and text application available for Android and iOS today. Ever since its launch back in January 2011, its user base has grown exponentially because of its wide range of functionalities. In this post, we’ll share our thoughts about its core features so if you’re interested, read on after the break.
Before going any further, let’s go through a small overview and background information. The app was developed by Tencent WeChat Ltd and was initially available only for the iPhone. It was officially launched internationally on October 27, 2011.
To further expand their reach, WeChat became available to other platforms too such as Android, Symbian, Blackberry and Windows Phone. Also, they managed to support up to 18 languages now namely; English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Thai, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Hebrew, Polish, Hindi, Japanese, Italian, Korean, Malaysian, Turkish. Now its service is available in 200+ countries.
WeChat reached their 100,000,000 users milestone in just 443 days which happened on March 28, 2013 – beating both Facebook and Twitter in user growth as the two reached the milestone in 1600 days and 1400 days, respectively. Just recently, they already nabbed 300,000,000 users. That’s a fast evolution, eh?
What can you do on WeChat?
There are several awesome features on WeChat but to give you an idea, here are some of them: text messaging, hold-to-talk voice messaging, VoIP chat, video chat, broadcast (one-to-many) messaging, photo/video sharing, location sharing, and contact information exchange. Well, I know most of these features are already found on other apps, but that doesn’t mean they are any better than WeChat. In fact, these are just the foundation of the service. For me, the app’s main attraction is on how they made these features even more exciting. We all know the typical stuff so I believe you already understood those listed above. This time, I would show you my favorite WeChat features.
WeChat Features: A Step Ahead
I also use other mobile messaging application before but when I tried WeChat, I was immediately blown away. It’s not the usual messaging stuff as it’s also some sort of a social networking site because it lets people to meet each other even if they are from different ends of the world. You don’t have to worry if none of your friends are online as WeChat will find someone for you to chat. With that, you’ll be able to make new friends. Sounds cool, isn’t it?
Here are some of the things I love about WeChat:
- Support for single and group chat – Who doesn’t want to chat with their friends? Of course, we all do! Through WeChat, it’s easier to joke around as a group of friends can seamlessly talk together and you won’t need to switch to different tabs anymore.
- Social Network – It’s not all about chatting with your real life friends. Sometimes, you need to revitalize yourself and talk to others. With WeChat’s awesome search tool, you’ll be able to chat with another in just a few minutes. There are a number of ways to do this actually and we included it below.
- Shake Feature – This is one of the most interesting parts of their social networking like feature. All you need to do is to shake the device and it’ll automatically find other WeChat users around the globe who are also shaking their Android and iOS devices. You’ll find people who are also eager to make new friends!
- Look Around – This feature is much quicker than Shake and I have much success using it. I can immediately look for other people who are around me and trying to get new friends by using ‘Look around’ and send greetings for the purpose of this post. Yes, I know, that’s a bit nasty but I just tried it for the purpose of this mini review. It works well and you can also filter the results to male only, female only, or show all.
- Emoticons – I find WeChat’s emoticons really cute and useful as well. The selection is huge and there is almost always one emoticon for every situation you’re in. It’s not just the typical emoticons found on SMS apps as there are tons of other great smileys and characters here.
- Video Call – Most of you might already have an app for this kind of service but this one’s cool. Starting from version 4.2 and above, you can now make video calls from the chat window. What’s nice about it is you can immediately switch to audio mode only just by sliding the indicator to the right. Pretty neat.
- Voice Chat – In case you just want to send a short message for someone or if he/she is offline, the voice chat feature is the best tool for that. You can tell them the message in a few seconds and after that it will automatically be sent to you buddy but if you don’t want to, you can cancel it as well.
- Drift Bottle – I earlier said that the Shake is just one of the interesting parts of WeChat and that’s because Drift Bottle is the best feature they have. You can write your verbal thoughts, emotional feelings, or anything you want to and toss it on the online ocean. It can be found by other people and they can choose to respond to your message. That’s really really cool! What do you think?
- Moments – You can also share your photos and precious moments in WeChat by sending it over to your buddy. You can also create an album to upload your photos there so that it can be seen by visitors who are viewing your profile. But in case you want it to be private, it can be done so that only permitted users will be able to view the photos.
WeChat is a very promising mobile messaging application and its one of those apps that I really want to bloom in the Philippines. It’s very useful and its arsenal of features is awesome. If you’re reading this, I suggest you give it a try.
WeChat is available on almost all mobile platforms today and if you want to download it — visit www.wechat.com.
* Disclosure: WeChat is an advertiser on this blog. This post is part of their advertorial campaign on NoypiGeeks.
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