Over the last few days I have been trying to make use of WeChat app as my main messaging replacement app. I must say that TenCent has put considerable effort in making WeChat app what it is today. However, WeChat app has a lot to do before it really makes a cut into the “Big” League that is right now dominated by WhatsApp. Here are my impressions about the app:
- Animated Emoticons! I am a big sucker for Animated Emoticons since I belong to the period of time when the Yahoo Messenger ruled the internet messaging world!
- Push to Talk – This allows us send a message to the person who we are chatting with in the way of a voice message. Works great when we are driving.
- Voice and Video Calls – A brilliant combination with the text messaging. It seeks to replace Viber and WhatsApp at one go! Two birds killed with a single stone!
- Selective contact addition – no longer do we have to worry who can message us and who cannot! A direct take away from the recent Social Networking sites, it allows us to choose and add friends who are not on our phone book as well. All that is needed to know is the WeChat ID of the person we wish to add.
- Social Integrated – There is a lot of emphasis on integrating the social element of our lives with this app. The interesting and noteworthy features being Look Around and Moments.
- A Promise to remain free for life, including no Ads!
- Interface – The interface needs a lot of polishing to be done. It looks fairly primitive and dated and fails to appeal to all the kind of users. While it may work well for school and college kids, it may definitely fail to take off with the professional and grown up population
- Chat Icon – This definitely looks like a direct inspiration from one of the iPhone Apps!
- Missing a lot of features that are available to the international users but not for India yet!
Official Press Release:- I would take this with a pinch of salt though!
WeChat, the mobile app with 200 million users, takes India by storm
New Delhi, India, 11th Oct, 2012 – WeChat, the global mobile app with over 200 million registered users worldwide, has now become the No.1 social messaging app in India also.*
WeChat comes from Tencent, world’s third most valued internet company, and the largest internet company in APAC region.
Interestingly, while WeChat has already been a No.1 app in 16 other countries – in India it achieved the top slot within three months of its launch.
WeChat sets itself apart with its unique smartphone offerings like free voice message and free video call features. It also enables excellent group chat with free voice message, animated emoticons, customizable backgrounds, and mini games like Rock-Paper-Scissors. The app also encourages creative expression by allowing users to apply artistic filters to their photos, create a personal photo journal, and share photos with friends. WeChat allows users to seamlessly connect with their social circles from phone contacts and Facebook. People can also use location-based social (LBS) features to discover other members of the WeChat community like ‘Shake’, ‘Look Around’ and ‘Drift Bottle’.
WeChat is also available Hindi, in addition to 16 global languages like Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Portuguese.
WeChat can be downloaded for free by smartphone users on iOS, Android, Windows Mobile and Symbian platforms.
* According to the iPhone Top Charts on Apple’s App Store
Download link: http://www.wechatapp.com
Founded in November, 1998, post establishing itself as China’s largest and most used Internet service portal, Tencent is now the largest internet company in the whole of Asia Pacific region and the third largest in the world. Tencent is heralding entrance in the Indian market with the launch of its flagship product – WeChat. At the cusp of attaining a user base of almost 800 million active user accounts, Tencent has maintained steady growth under its user-oriented operating strategies, ever since its establishment. Total revenues of the company for the year 2011 stood at USD 4,522.5 million.