Mobile messengers have become pretty common by now, and you probably have at least one installed on your mobile device. They are convenient, easy to use and provide the possibility to stay connected with friends, family, and colleagues at any time. Naturally, many app developers saw great potential in the concept of a mobile messenger and released apps ...
WeChat - More than Your Average Mobile Messenger
Mobile messengers have become pretty common by now, and you probably have at least one installed on your mobile device. They are convenient, easy to use and provide the possibility to stay connected with friends, family, and colleagues at any time. Naturally, many app developers saw great potential in the concept of a mobile messenger and released apps that reflected their vision of what a mobile messenger should be. Some apps, such as What’sApp or Viber, became international hits, while others did not get to enjoy such popularity. What about WeChat, a mobile messenger from Chinese developers? Read this review to find out how does it stack up against the competition.
As you may have guessed or suspected, WeChat is largely popular in China. The WeChat app was released in 2011, and it quickly became one of the most downloaded apps not only in China but also in Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, Philippines and some other countries. What’s the reason that drives so many people to download WeChat?
WeChat can be seen as an Eastern analog of What’sApp, except that it has some more features stacked up its sleeve. But first, let’s take a look at what WeChat can offer as a messaging and calling app:
- Free text messages to any WeChat user;
- Group chats for up to 500 people;
- Free, high-quality audio and video calls to any WeChat user;
- Lots of stickers to express your emotions (some of them are free, but most packs are paid);
- Sharing audio and video files, photos, documents, as well as your real-time location in chats;
- Simple sign up procedure that only requires a mobile phone number.
This combination of features has already become typical for any popular mobile messenger. However, WeChat is about more than simply communicating with other people in a variety of traditional ways. First of all, with WeChat you can use the “People Nearby” feature to chat with strangers around you (and possibly meet them). The app uses your location and shows you a list of other WeChat users who are situated in your vicinity. Granted, you may stumble upon some creepy people who may want to strike up an inappropriate conversation, but you can easily report them to the WeChat team, and they will be banned. On the bright side, you may meet some pretty interesting people and end up being friends or maybe even start dating. WeChat gives you the possibility to explore your neighborhood in search of new friends, and it’s up to you whether you think the possible benefits are worth the risk of talking to an unpleasant stranger. If you’re up for an even more spontaneous communication, use the “Shake” feature. When you enter a special tab in WeChat, you’ll be prompted to shake your phone, and you’ll be connected to someone else who is shaking their phone at the same time. The connection is absolutely random, so it knows no boundaries. For all you know, you could be chatting with someone from another part of the world in no time.
WeChat also gives you the possibility to express yourself with more than just plain text. You can use the “Photo Stream” feature to upload your photos and share them with other WeChat users. If you’re not interested in sharing your life with the world, you might find some of the following WeChat perks appealing:
- With WeChat, you can send audio messages to up to 500 users simultaneously;
- WeChat is certified by TRUSTe, which means that it is a mobile messenger that puts your privacy into perspective;
- You can also use WeChat on your desktop computer;
- WeChat notifications can be customized to suit your personal needs and preferences;
- You can use custom wallpapers for any WeChat conversation;
- Many famous people and organizations have official WeChat accounts.
WeChat can instantly translate your messages to 20 languages, making international communication easy
That’s more, WeChat is currently being used as a payment method in China, Hong Kong, and South Africa. All users have to do is enter their credit card number and set up a password to be able to pay for taxi rides, meals, movie tickets and a lot more with WeChat. While this particular function is currently unavailable in Europe, it would surely attract a lot of users if it were to be introduced.
The design of WeChat is fairly similar to that of What’sApp, except that in WeChat everything is more rectangular and looks less “polished.” It may be visually attractive and easy to use, but it would've been nice to see the developers to make a little more of an effort while designing WeChat.
WeChat is fairly user-friendly, since all you have to do to start using it is download We Chat app from your phone’s app store, install it and enter your cell number. Once you receive the confirmation code, verify your number and quickly set up your profile, you can start chatting with your friends and maybe even strangers from all around the world or from the building around the corner. It’s all up to you!
Cross-Platform Use 10/10
You can download WeChat apk from the Play Market if you own an Android phone. iOS and Windows Phone/Mobile users can download the app from their respective app stores. WeChat can also be accessed from desktop computers, so it is available on basically any device you may own.
WeChat is a free app, but it does have a lot of paid sticker packs.
WeChat is definitely a strong player on the mobile messengers market. Apart from the basic functionality that is a must-have for a modern messenger (audio/video calls, media sharing, group chats), WeChat also offers some unique functions, such as having a personal photo feed and connecting with celebrities. It is up to you to decide whether you want to give WeChat a shot or stick to the traditional Instagram + Twitter combo for those purposes and keep using Viber or What’sApp.Collapse
If you’re up to exploring great apps, go on and download WeChat for Android, iOS or Windows Phone devices to experience communication in a whole new way.
Pros : Truly international messenger;
No subscription required;
Instant message translation;
Cons : No “Wallet” feature outside of China, Hong Kong, and South Africa;
Design could be more original.
Cross-platform use 5.0