Want to Know About WeChat?
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Origins of WeChat
You know about messaging or chat apps like SnapChat, WhatsApp, Viber, Voxer, and Facebook but did you know there is one app that has more installed users than all of the above? Tencent, one of China’s largest and most profitable Internet companies, launched WeChat back in 2011. Since then, more than 600 million people downloaded the app, and there are over 300 million active users that engage with the app daily. This makes it one of the world’s largest messenger/social media apps in use. More importantly, WeChat is used for more of its functionality than just a messaging service.
Features of WeChat
WeChat is said to offer the best of Facebook and WhatsApp into one app, but there’s a lot more to it. Tencent has basically considered the app as a ‘Swiss-Army’ knife and has added features upon features that make WeChat a central component of a user’s life. In China for instance, everything is done through WeChat and that’s an understatement. Besides messaging, WeChat also offers video calling, voice calling, Emoticons/stickers, QR coding and capture, gaming, geolocation searching (Shake), blog posts (Moments), brand channels and mobile commerce (this is big, folks), and much, much more. See all of the features listed below in detail.
Additionally, many famous celebrities from around the world are creating their own WeChat profiles (i.e. channels) including Eva Longoria, Selena Gomez, Maggie Q, Adam Lambert and more. The rich features of WeChat allow celebrities to instantly communicate with fans and more importantly, engage directly with their fans through messages, videos, video chats and much more. Brands are also getting involved and adding their own ‘Subscription’ Accounts to WeChat, which are special channels for brands to exist on WeChat.
The Future of Mobile Commerce
With the recent news on mergers between other messaging apps like WhatsApp and Viber, a lot of focus is now placed on the significance of messaging apps in the mobile space. WeChat stands heads above the others for it’s one standout feature alone – mobile commerce. WeChat has a full-blown mobile commerce platform built inside using the e-commerce platform, TenPay (a Chinese version of PayPal). With TenPay, users have to sync a real-world bank account to add credits and conduct transactions via the app. WeChat has been used for mobile commerce (or m-commerce) by brands, celebrities and WeChat themselves. WeChat currently completed a successful Chinese New Year’s Red Envelope program, where users of WeChat could send red envelopes (money) to each other’s accounts. Over 40 million envelopes were sent during the program with hundreds of millions of dollars sent in app transactions.
WeChat and You
WeChat is the most popular app in Asia but is growing internationally as well. It is becoming more and more popular in other parts of the world including North America. WeChat currently has a program running in North America to provide free Starbucks gift cards if you sign up with WeChat. With the rich features, user base and momentum, WeChat is here to stay and will only become more and more popular worldwide.
How can you get involved if you are a brand or marketer? First, download the app and familiarize with it. You can download WeChat on iOS here and Android here. Then, read about the features in this section. Follow our blog for all the latest updated news on WeChat. Now that you have downloaded the app, get acquainted with the robust features WeChat can provide and offers to its community.
If you would like to know more about WeChat and what it can do for your brand or business, download our free white paper on Marketing for WeChat.
WeChat is Your Future of Growth
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