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WeChat on the Rise – Here’s Why Facebook, WhatsApp Should Stay Alert

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WeChat recently made an announcement that it now serves more than 600 million people on a monthly basis.

Even though this is already an amazing figure to achieve, tech pundits predict that things are only beginning to get better for this Tencent-owned messaging and calling app as it ventures into the internationalization of its services.

There is no doubt that the 600 million people that follow WeChat in China and other Asian countries make this app a big deal. The innovative transformation this app has shown towards becoming China’s main messenger has turned this app from being just a communication tool, but also a major asset for the country’s digital strategy. As the app begins its expansions plans, the value it brings to the Chinese business strategy will also be shifted to the global arena.

The WeChat universe

To get a clear picture of what WeChat is, it’s best to look at the core philosophy of this product. In essence, this app is all about connecting people with anything possible. The developers of the application are always working on ways they can incorporate the app into real lives wherever and whenever they can.

The concept of this messaging app is time saving. It also saves effort and eliminates the need of having to deal constantly with reinventions whenever a new idea is brought up. To bring you closer to the point, here are a few examples to serve the purpose.

Stickers

If you are one of the people who see a burden in typing on a small keyboard, WeChat has something you must just fall in love with. There is a huge collection of animated GIFs that can be sent to any other user as stickers. The good thing with WeChat stickers is that they are available in the app’s library, and users can create their customized versions as well. There are hundreds of websites dedicated to these stickers and for sure, you will have plenty of them to include in your messages.

WeChat retail platforms

When a user has an officially verified WeChat brand account, they can easily setup a shop right from within the application. What this means is that big stores such as Adidas can sell an anything to their customers without necessarily having to leave the app. All users need to do is sign up for the payments API.

WeChat Wallet

WeChat went into partnership with China’s largest insurer, and it offers insurance services to users against theft and fraud. This feature makes users of this application feel safe when making their transactions via the app, among them paying for utility bills, making reservations in hotels and for travels or even booking a taxi.

On both domestic and international fronts, this ability to make micropayments via WeChat has had a huge impact on the reputation of this app.

QR codes

WeChat has a unique way of connecting users. Each user can create a custom QR code such that he/she can be found using this code even without the need of saving the contact, making interaction and communication from within the app incredibly easy. QR codes are very popular in China andfact; they have become a major driving force when it comes to promoting brand WeChat accounts.

WeChat’s competitors

WeChat has a very different philosophy from most of its competitors, especially from the western world. Apps such as WhatsApp have very different models, only offering users messaging and calling services; all of which are basicservices of WeChat. Users of Alibaba have Weibo, an app that takes a more closed approach with the focus being on driving more users to come to Alipay. WeChat, on the other hand, connects with the lives of its users.

There is no doubt that WeChat has a different story. One question that arises as the messenger tries to work its way into the U.S. market is, how will it survive?

Just recently, WeChat splashed out $50 million to Kik messenger, a Canadian messaging app. This is considered as a stepping stone towards achieving more recognition in the international market. There are even names like “WeChat of the West” already doing rounds aboutKik.

There is no doubt that the next step WeChat takes in its bid to make its services available internationally will be interesting. Keep following us for more news on the app as we will be keeping a close eye on it for you.