We are all probably aware of the fact that mobile messaging applications have taken over regular texting, as you have the ability to chat and have conversations with your friends and family, as well as interchange voice messages, photos and videos, all for free.
You are free to choose whatever messaging app you want to use and the choice is really wide. However, a few household names rule the mobile messaging scene, Whatsapp and WeChat being one of them. Let’s see what makes these two messaging applications special and why they are used and popular in different parts of the world.
It can get pretty difficult to conclude differences between some of the most popular messaging apps, as they can seem like each other’s replications. Facebook has recently bought Whatsapp for $19 billion and this app indeed ensures one thing perfectly-messaging service free of games, ads and gimmicks. However, Whatsapp’s rival WeChat is owned by China’s Internet giant Tencent and it tends to deliver all services at once-it is used for chatting, gaming, shopping, even banking. It’s no wonder Chinese are thrilled with this messaging app, since they have the possibility of booking a doctor appointment, hailing a taxi or buying a soda.
Today WeChat counts around 468 million users, with millions of Chinese users, since it is the most popular and used messaging app there. WeChat is also making its way to Southeast Asia and South Africa. On the other hand, its rival Whatsapp has beyond 600 million users and is most popular and used in the Western markets, like the US and Europe, but also emerging markets such as India, Mexico, and Brazil.
Chinese name for WeChat is Weixin and we already mentioned that this is Tencent’s brainchild, so it’s no wonder that WeChat has millions of users in China, as Tencent is one of the largest and most popular Internet service providers in China. The best features of Facebook and Whatsapp are combined in WeChat messaging app. On top of that, it adds and delivers some own monetizing innovations. WeChat is indeed a full scale mobile service, allowing you to hail a taxi, play mobile games, make online payments, post videos, and more. For example, WeChat users in China were overjoyed with last Chinese New Year’s feature to receive and send digital cash (lucky money in red envelopes).
Moreover, a feature named “shake” enables WeChat users within a set radius with the ability of detecting each other by just jiggling their mobile phones. You might be surprised with the amount of shaking going on in case you end up in a crowded restaurant in Beijing. Facebook experience is also enhanced with WeChat, as it provides easy and simple photo posting. Also, it has more intimate system of commenting that includes only your friends and not anyone else who can clatter your feed. Furthermore, group chats on WeChat provide efficient and festive communication. Another great WeChat feature for Chinese is that it allows WeChat users to communicate via fast voice messages, since sending texts and typing in Chinese characters can be gruelling. And the last, but not the least is the fact that WeChat is, unlike Whatsapp, completely free.