WeChat and other texting services offer many benefits when compared to basic SMS. WeChat offers a cross-platform service and allows users of different devices to chat with one another at no additional cost, using the Internet. People make use of the app not only for chatting with friends but also for discussing work and other purposes. It is possible to send text messages as well as graphics, send voice messages or videos for free. The app was first launched in January 2011 and was created by Tencent Inc. of China. Over the years, the app has added many other functions. Today, it has more than six hundred million users, with 30 percent of them located outside China.
Promotional and Service Platform
WeChat is not restricted to being used by individuals for their private chatting purposes. If you have a public account, the organization can push a feed to its subscribers. They can interact with their subscribers and offer them services through the app. Many news media and government organizations as well as private companies are using the app for providing service to customers and as a promotional platform. Governments in China have more than forty thousand public accounts.
Recently, WeChat launched the Lucky Money feature. During the Chinese New Year, it is a practice to distribute a red envelop with money, so many users can use this feature for sending red envelopes (albeit virtually) to their friends or their relatives. In fact, during the New Year celebration for 2015, more than a million yuan of coupons for test driving Nissan cars had been distributed using WeChat. Users had just to shake the phone to get coupons. Many lucky users won free test drives and also gift money.
Sending Money/Receiving Money
To send or receive money through WeChat, users have to link their bank accounts to the application. You can then make payments using the mobile wallet features of the application.
Offering a Marketing Platform
WeChat offers an excellent marketing platform for business.Businesses can use their WeChat accounts for broadcasting a message to its clients or customers and engage with a fan or follower. Better interaction is thus possible. They can attract a customer by issuing an e-coupon or any other promotional offer. They can feature the QR code of their brand in the sale material and encourage the user to scan codes having discounts or souvenirs and so on. The Lucky Money distributed to users during the New Year is one example of such a marketing strategy for interacting with clients. The customer can use the e-coupons that they have received in cinemas or in beauty salons and eateries and so on. It is possible to convert a user into a buyer by attracting him with such coupons. It is also possible to distribute coupons in Moments, another feature in WeChat, so this also offers free means of advertising.
Thus, we find that WeChat is not just a social networking platform but has also brought about a revolutionary change for many businesses.