WeChat Messenger FREE Download
WeChat is a good Chinese option amongst Chat messenger which you can consider if you are often visiting China. Looking to the fact the Chinese Govt., blocked presence of Whatsapp or Facebook in China, WeChat is great alternative for a networking app. But considering that if you are in other parts of the world there are several other networking apps that have quite established their presence, convincing your friends to switch to WeChat could be challenging. However, the video calling feature is something that can give it an edge over others. And while the app offers the necessary features to network, there are some that you can do without, especially if you are concerned about privacy. Thankfully, you can disable these features and still be able to use the app without a problem. You will however need to get used to the interface. Lastly, even though the app is free it is devoid of ads.
History of WeChat
WeChat (Chinese: 微信; pinyin: About this sound Wēixìn; literally: “micro-message”) is a Chinese multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment app developed by Tencent. It was first released in 2011, and by 2018 it was one of the world’s largest standalone mobile apps by monthly active users, with over 1 billion monthly active users (902 million daily active users).Described as one of the world’s most powerful apps by Forbes, it is also known as China’s “app for everything” and a “super app” because of its wide range of functions and platforms. In addition to China, it is also the most popular messaging app in Bhutan.
In the 2018 Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting, Charlie Munger identified WeChat as one of the few potential competitors to Visa, MasterCard and American Express.
Launched in 2011, Weixin/WeChat has been enhancing the lives of hundreds of millions users with its innovative features. The platform integrates instant messaging and social entertainment, bringing about a mobile digital lifestyle on an easy to use app. Users get to engage in real-time communications via free text and multimedia messages, make video calls or share photos on their “Moments”. Other lifestyle recreational features include “Games”, “Sticker Gallery”, and convenient friend-adding services such as “Shake” and “People Nearby”. Continuously evolving around users’ needs, Weixin/WeChat also offers enterprises “Official Accounts” to create original consumer experiences through its open platform and extended services such as Weixin/WeChat Pay for a truly mobile digital lifestyle. Weixin/WeChat reached more than 938 million monthly active user accounts as of the first quarter of 2017.Weixin/WeChat has evolved into a connector and open platform across industries, connecting users with one another, with smart devices and with business services.
Interface/Features WeChat’s interface is something that will take getting used to. On the homescreen you will find all your contacts who use the application. You can start a conversation with them by simply tapping on their name. You can convert the conversation into group chat by clicking on the face icon on the right hand corner at the top of the screen. Clicking on the keyboard icon will allow you to type a message. This keyboard icon also alternates as the speaker icon to send voice chat when the keyboard is in use. To send a voice message press on the ‘Hold to Talk’ button, you will have to keep it pressed till you are done with the message, simply release to send. Currently you can send messages up to one minute long. You can cancel the recording by an up swipe movement.
Clicking on the plus sign, next to the keyboard icon will bring up the additional options like emoticon, image, video, location, name card, live chat and video call. We tried the video call feature and it works quite well. During the video call you can even switch from video to audio and back again. This feature is something that not many networking apps offer and can work to its advantage. Another good option is the WebChat, which lets you chat via WeChat from your desktop. Additionally, with web chat you can even transfer files from your PC to your phone and vice versa. Once you receive the file on your phone, you can download it and even share it with your friends. You can send text, images, audio and video files. It also offers a Live Chat feature, which is something like hangout.
There may be no better example than Tencent’s WeChat, the mobile messaging and payment app that has over 900 million monthly active users. Foreigners who visit China are awestruck by the complete dominance of this super app, which people use for everything from sending messages to hailing taxis to buying real estate. WeChat has millions of verified official accounts—including brands, celebrities, even hospitals—that can receive mobile payments using its network. For many Chinese, WeChat is a wallet and communication platform, and it’s impossible to imagine life without it.
In 2013, Tencent announced that it was opening an office in the United States with the aim of bringing WeChat to America. Having enjoyed success in its home market, seeking growth abroad was a natural next step. The company also saw an opportunity: there were already messaging apps in the U.S. market, but none had taken the country by storm. There seemed to be room for WeChat to shake things up, but that’s not what happened. Today how many Americans, aside from the ones with connections to China, have even heard of the product?
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