WeChat is going international in a different way to WhatsApp: using games and commerce

On 11/12/2013 by Site Default

The mobile messaging space is getting increasingly cramped. With so many chat apps on the market, what should one do to stand out among the competition?

That is a question that desperately needs an answer, and Poshu Yeung, vice president of the international business group at Tencent, which owns Chinese messaging service WeChat, has attempted to shed some light on its initiatives in an interview with TNW.

WeChat strives to be a first-mover in adding features

It’s widely perceived that WhatsApp is leading the mobile messaging battle — with 350 million active users each month and more than 400 million photos shared daily, the engagement rate of its users is high enough to keep its competitors on their toes. However, while WhatsApp is known for its minimalistic approach, other messaging services are frantically adding bells and whistles to its basic text function.

WeChat (and Weixin, its Chinese version) is one of WhatsApp’s greatest global competitors – with a combined 272 million monthly active users – and was one of the first mobile chat apps to introduce voice messaging and video chats. It also launched features such as Walkie Talkie for group voice conversations as well as Shake and Hold Together for a more efficient way to add friends.

Essentially, WeChat is out to win the race by being the first-mover in introducing new features — as it seeks to extend its services beyond just messaging, social networking and entertainment. Yeung says:

Most mobile applications are currently designed to only offer a single service such as communication, photo/video editing or games. In this respect, we are constantly driving innovation to provide users with a comprehensive ecosystem to meet their communications, social sharing and gaming needs.

Amid aggressive global marketing (such as launching an advertising campaign fronted by football star Lionel Messi as seen below), WeChat already surpassed 100 million user accounts outside China in August this year.

READ MORE HERE: http://thenextweb.com/asia/2013/12/11/wechat-is-going-international-in-a-different-way-to-whatsapp-using-games-and-commerce-interview/#!pB1np

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