WeChat with Friends and Family
WeChat is a chat-based communication app for Android and iOS. Apart from chat, it includes features like free voice and video calling, sharing media through Moments, emojis and stickers, and a fun, interactive interface, that is easy to navigate and adopt. The app caters to casual communication between friends and family. One can sign in using an ID or through the mobile number.
What are the key features to look out for?
It is fairly easy to connect with friends or family using this app. One simply needs to add a person through their mobile number, WeChat ID, or QR code invites. The app is a really fun platform, catered towards young people, focused on creating an interactive environment for a chat. It is easy to add friends and contacts, share videos, photos, and other multimedia, view your friends’ photos and videos via Moments, call friends and family for free, have access to a gallery of animated stickers and emoticons. The entire experience is bent towards creating a fun place where you can hang out virtually with friends.
The unique feature that is perhaps missing from other communication apps is the real-time online games that you can play with your loved ones. You can compare the score and rankings with your friends as well, and track how you are doing compared to others. Group chats can be conducted with the Live Chat features, which lets you invite people using QR codes to the group chat. It is also fairly easy to manage group chats.
What makes WeChat stand out?
WeChat has been developed by Chinese developers and is one of the few messaging or communication apps that work in China, where WhatsApp and Facebook are blocked. For anyone traveling to China, this app is a good communication platform.
The interface and user experience of the app is fun, casual, interactive, and with features like games, stickers, and emoticons, It is a light and breezy communication tool, to stay in touch with friends and family. With free audio and video calls, it makes communication even easier.
What are the negatives to watch out for in WeChat?
Apart from being a messaging/text-based app, there is little else that the app offers. It is a simple application, with basic fun features, that are alright for a casual, friendly environment. However, it is not the appropriate platform for more formal and business-related interactions. It is fairly basic in that sense.
Some of the common competitors of WeChat are iMessages, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Alipay, Line, Telegram, to name a few. While the software is a simple chat and voice/video calling application for mobiles, it is really just nothing more than that and does not offer services like its competitors. WhatsApp is definitely the most popular messaging application on phones today, and market penetration is infinitely better. WeChat is still closely considered a Chinese app, and people are not keen to adopt the application for any other use. Also, there have been news items questioning the privacy of the app, and it better to look into it before installing it.
Facebook Messenger also wins against WeChat on account of its integration with Facebook’s social media app. Facebook works very well in seamlessly integrating Messenger with other features like Pages, so one can use the Facebook messenger for business conversations and promotions as well. Because of the app's interface, it loses out on people who want to communicate for a serious, functional purpose, and does not cater to the promotional or business-related messages.
The software also falters because it is only available on smartphones and not on desktops/laptops. It can be only be accessed through phone number and there is no extension to access it from another device. It is a big disadvantage for people who want to use their computers (PC or Mac) to operate the program. This feature is available in Messenger and WhatsApp, where the accounts are synced, giving them an edge over WeChat
Overall, is WeChat worth using?
Anyone looking for a fun, casual chat with friends and family across the globe, using interactive emoticons and stickers, will find this app good to use. However, for most people, it is tough to make the switch from WhatsApp or Messenger, or even iMessages, as most of their contacts are already using these apps for texting. So in the category of chat messengers, WeChat is limited in its offering and does not really stand strong against the alternatives.