China’s preferred messaging app, WeChat ( WC) , has perpetually had an in depth relationship with the Chinese government. The app has been sponsored by the govt since its creation in 2011, and it’s an accepted reality that officers censor and monitor users. Now, WeChat is poised to take on an even greater role: an initiative is underway to integrate WC with China’s electronic ID system.
It may be onerous for individuals outside of China to understand simply however powerful WeChat has become there. “For all intents and purposes WeChat is your phone, and to a far greater extent in China than anywhere else, your phone is everything,” wrote Ben Thompson, analyst and founder of the blog Stratechery. “There is nothing in any other country that is comparable: not LINE, not WhatsApp, not Facebook.”
Founded in 2011 and in hand by Tencent, WeChat has 902 million daily users, and about 38 billion messages are sent on the platform every day. Last year, Tencent extra mini-apps to WeChat, making an app store of sorts: within WC, you can play games, pay bills, find local hangouts, book doctor appointments, file police reports, hail taxis, hold video conferences, and access bank services. State-run media and government agencies even have official WeChat accounts, wherever they will directly communicate with users.
Features Of WeChat
WeChat is said to offer the best of Facebook and WhatsApp into one app, but there’s a lot more to it. Tencent has essentially considered the app as a ‘Swiss-Army’ knife and has extra options upon options that create WC a central element of a user’s life. In China for instance, everything is completed through WeChat and that’s an understatement. Besides messaging,
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WC additionally offers video calling, voice calling, Emoticons/stickers, QR coding and capture, gaming, geolocation searching (Shake), blog posts (Moments), brand channels and mobile commerce (this is big, folks), and much, much more. See all of the features listed below in detail.
=> WeChat Moments
WeChat Moments relies on contact building. People cannot see your contact list, and your Moments can only be visible to people you have verified yourself as a contact. There is no public display of Moments like Facebook can publicly display a newsfeed item and the subsequent comments. Only you can see them. This provides a more secure and private interaction with each individual contact.
=> The Future Of Mobile Commerce
With the recent news on mergers between other messaging apps like WhatsApp and Viber, a lot of focus is now placed on the significance of messaging apps in the mobile space. WC stands heads on top of the others for it’s one standout feature alone – mobile commerce.
WeChat features a full-blown mobile commerce platform designed within using the e-commerce platform, TenPay (a Chinese version of PayPal). With TenPay, users have to sync a real-world bank account to add credits and conduct transactions via the app. WC has been used for mobile commerce (or m-commerce) by brands, celebrities and WeChat themselves.
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WeChat currently completed a successful Chinese New Year’s Red Envelope program, where users of WC could send red envelopes (money) to each other’s accounts. Over forty million envelopes were sent throughout the program with many legion greenbacks sent in app transactions.
=> W.chat And You
WeChat is the most popular app in Asia but is growing internationally as well. It is becoming more and more popular in other parts of the world including North America. WC presently features a program running in North America to supply free Starbucks gift cards if you check in with WC. With the rich features, user base and momentum, WeChat is here to stay and will only become more and more popular worldwide.
How can you get involved if you are a brand or marketer? First, download the app and familiarize with it. You can transfer WeChat on iOS here and android here. Then, read about the features in this section. Follow our blog for all the latest updated news on WC. Now that you have downloaded the app, get acquainted with the robust features WeChat can provide and offers to its community.
=> WeChat Subscriptions
The way subscription accounts works are like this: a subscription is built into the WeChat friend list. If they click on the ad content, the user can be exposed to a range of companies and related apps. You might be wondering: How are advertisers utilizing the subscriptions feature on WC?
Companies, such as Tesla, for example, have built interactive user content which includes multiple tabs that offer different product experiences, such as taking a test drive, with a chat-bot feature for automated responses.
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The point here is, that it’s an open platform for you to do pretty much anything you like. It’s a space to utilize and build a content branding initiative on. Users like to get something from the ads that they are visiting or viewing on social media apps. Build the advertisement into the user experience.
That’s what makes subscription accounts a valuable tool for publishers to reach global markets such as Asia. It allows you to fine-tune your content to fit a particular audience.
For publishers, it is another avenue for creating a recurring subscription product for mobile as paywall has been rolled out since last year.
=> WeChat Groups/Broadcast
Groups fairly common, but anybody looking to create a large audience with common interests would need to leverage this feature. Anybody wanting to join or create a group bigger than 100 is required to link his or her bank card to their WC account.
Alternatively, you can use Broadcast to mass message your contact list (without revealing their identities), should you wish to create newsletters.
What is WeChat ID?
WeChat ID is your unique identification inside WC and might only be set once (changes not allowed). Your friends will try and add your WC by searching your WeChat ID.
Set a WC ID from the “Me” tab -> Settings -> Account Security -> WeChat ID. Keep in mind that once you’ve got set your WeChat ID.