WeChat is a mobile application (text, voice and video app) developed by Tencent (China). WeChat has gained high amount of popularity and a huge user base in very short span of time. Its a complete multi platform application having its support for all types of devices – Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Nokia Symbian Phones.
It is a new way you can connect with your friends and family. It is an integrated application offering solution for all social media tasks like Video Calling, Voice Chat and Text Messaging. Some people say WeChat is nothing but Viber, Skype and Whatsapp combined.
The nicest thing about WeChat is its Free to download and use, it has no advertisement, offers a very clean interface and has multi language support. WeChat is not only being liked by Asians (considering it is being developed in Asia) but it is accepted and being used worldwide. The reason for it becoming so popular (already in top 10 most download smartphone applications) is not because it offers so many features but the credit also goes to its marketing strategy. Unlike Whatsapp, WeChat rolled in some of the popular celebrities in each country and advertised the application heavily (be it ads on internet, television ads or radio ads). All this combined has made WeChat one of the most used smartphone application !
Download WeChat for Free
As stated above, WeChat is available for almost all the mobile platforms and for free. It is a complete cross platform app – one which helps you connect (voice/text/video chat) from your android mobile to your friend using WeChat on his blackberry.
- WeChat for Android Mobiles and Tablets – Download Link
- WeChat for iPhone and iPad – Download Link
- WeChat for Windows Phone – Download Link
- WeChat for Nokia S40 Phones (Symbian) – Download Link (Nokia Asha 303/305/306/307/308/309/310/311, Nokia X3-02/C3-01)
- WeChat for Symbian Touch Phones – Download Link
- WeChat for Blackberry OS5 – Download Link
- WeChat for Blackberry Os6 and above – Download Link
- WeChat for Blackberry 10 OS – Download Link
WeChat application is quite easy to use and setup – it just uses your phone number to login.
WeChat on Tablets
Depending upon the operating system of your tablet – You can download and install WeChat on your tab as well. For example – iPad users can download the iPhone app (WeChat iOS app) and its works like a charm.
Adding Friends on WeChat
WeChat can scan your address book and gives you friend suggestions rather than adding them automatically. It also creates a fancy QR code with your user id, for your friends to add you with. So the easiest method is to know your friends phone number and add them to your address book. The ones on WeChat can be easily added (and it will automatically give you friend suggestion).
Other ways to add friends -:
- Mobile Contacts – As stated above
- Add By ID – : If you are aware of your friends WeChat user id or his phone number, then use this method to add them to wechat.
- Facebook Friends – WeChat app also contains a Facebook integration button which can be used to connect with our FaceBook friends
- Scan QR Code – You are offered a unique QR codes (associated with your WeChat ID). Now obviously you cannot share your mobile number publically (however still want to connect with your readers/friends). Use this QR code on your website/blog and your readers/friends can just scan the QR code using a bar scanner and then connect with you.
PS: WeChat ID is your unique name that friends can search for to find you. Wechat ID can be changed once only. WeChat name is your primary name shown to other WeChat users, and it can be changed as often as you like.
Apart from offering normal text, voice and video chat, WeChat offers features some which are exclusive to it. Lets have a quick look at WeChat Feature set.
Live Chat – Group Voice Chat
Have you used a walkie talkie before – that is what is Live Chat of WeChat is popularly known as. Chat with friends in a Live Chat session (available in the latest versions of WeChat for iOS and Android). Members in the Live Chat will hear you immediately. Only one person can talk at a time. The indicator light will turn red if you press the button while others are speaking, and you won’t be able to talk. Data is only used when voice messages are sent and received, so there’s minimal data consumption when live chat is on standby mode.
Chat History Backup
Back up your chat history and restore it to your new device (yes, across devices). (Note: Chat History is only stored for 7 days.). Select “Settings”->”General”->”Chat History Backup”. So if you are switching from iPhone to Android and worried that your chat will get lost, then you need not to worry. This is one of the best features of WeChat!
You can also set a password for the chat history uploaded.
Video Call is available on WeChat versions 4.2 and later, allowing you to talk to your friends face to face. You can also switch between Video and Audio modes during the call.
This feature gives WeChat a sense of social networking. Similar to Facebook, WeChat allows you to share your moments (Pictures or Videos) with your friends. You can also have a cover photo. Now good thing is you can Select “Settings” -> “My Moments” to view a timeline of your own Moments.
These smileys are best ways to express yourself. Emoticons are one of the reason, Whatsapp became so popular (it offers hundreds of emoticons). Just like Whatsapp, Wechat also has good range of emoticons. Select the smiley button in the chat window (a huge collection of emotions). That’s not all – Select “Special” -> “+” to download emoticons from its online catalog or choose your own from your phone album.
Group Chat – Voice or Text
Just like Viber and Whatsapp, WeChat also offers group chat feature (one of the heavily used feature).
This app locates people within few kms of your location using location-based services. Highly useful when you are on the go (travel) and wants to know if any of your friend is also in the same area. Works within few kms of radius. I find it quite useful. Please make sure you have both enabled Location Services from your iPhone’s Settings menu and that WeChat has been granted permission in the Location Services sub-menu.
Shake your phone to connect with people who are also shaking their phone, either next to you or across the globe. This can connect your phone with strangers – be cautious to share your personal information. Choose someone from “people found” and “Send Greeting” to make friends.
Messages are shared using paper inside a bottle thrown into the sea. This app does the same but virtually. You write a message and throw into the virtual sea and let someone new find it from the sea and replies to you unless a starfish confronts you.
This app offers so many different ways to connect with your friends. And once connected you have so many different options to chat with them – Use Emoticon, Image, Video or Video Chat Live with your friends.