WeChat, known as Weixin of its Chinese app name, is the top mobile app by total MAUs and engagement in China, with 889 million monthly active users in Q4 2016.
Tencent launched WeChat in January 2011 as a free instant messaging mobile app, led and developed by Zhang Xiaolong in Guangzhou. It also has a web version.
WeChat Supported OS: iOS (iPhone/iPad), Android, Windows Phone, Nokia S40 Symbian, BlackBerry OS 5.0, BlackBerry OS 6.0 and above, Blackberry 10, Windows, MacOS, Web Browsers
WeChat app now offers users mobile contacts, free video and voice calls, games, stickers and text messages, group chats, social networking (under WeChat Moments), and mobile payment (WeChat Pay).
Users can also discover new friends through location-based services (LBS) or WeChat Shake.
WeChat also has a VoIP feature called WeChat Out to help users call mobile and landlines around the globe at low rates. It is only available for users outside Mainland China.
How to Set Up and Register WeChat
WeChat can be downloaded free here. After downloading and installing WeChat, open the app and select “Sign Up”, enter your mobile number as instructed. 4. An SMS verification code will be sent to your phone (for free!); enter the code into WeChat to verify your mobile number to register successfully. Creating a WeChat account requires a mobile phone number. WeChat no longer accepts registration via email address, QQ number, or Facebook account.
An SMS verification code will be sent to your phone; enter the code into WeChat to verify your mobile number to register successfully. Registering a WeChat account requires a mobile phone number.
After registration, you can set a WeChat ID as your unique identifier, bind an email address to WeChat for your account security, and set a password to avoid logging in via SMS verification every time.
You can then add friends from your phone’s address book, manually entering phone numbers or WeChat IDs, searching for people nearby and Message in a Bottle, or use Friend Radar.
WeChat Official Accounts
Companies can use WeChat Official Accounts to attract followers on WeChat and reach target audiences.
WeChat Official Account” refers to both Subscription Account, Service Account or any other accounts that WeChat offer under the WeChat Official Account Admin Platform Service. This Service is a cooperative promotion business for individual or enterprise users launched by WeChat.
The User, after registering for a WeChat account, may conduct brand promotion activities through the WeChat Official Account Admin Platform. A WeChat user shall, after subscribing to a WeChat Official Account, become a subscriber of that WeChat Official Account.
The WeChat Official Account may release information to and interact with its subscribers through the WeChat Official Account Admin Platform.
Bank cards from mainland China can be linked for WeChat Pay by verifying the registered mobile number. Only credit cards may be linked for users outside mainland China.
WeChat Mini-Program are light programs that do not require download or installation; users can access the apps anytime and anywhere. Users can scan a QR code to launch and use the application although search capability is added but limited. Users can simply leave the application after use without the need to uninstall. More here →
Opportunities for Marketers on WeChat
Content marketing is quite common with targeted quality articles distributed on WeChat utilizing both owned and third-party (advertorial) WeChat Official Accounts. Companies also develop HTML5 based landing pages for certain campaigns to drive up the engagement.
- The latest WeChat articles on CIW
- Marketing and advertising opportunities on WeChat Moments
- Insights on WeChat Official Accounts
- Top WeChat Stats 2016
- Case Studies on WeChat Marketing