Wechat is being hailed as the up and coming competitor to Whatsapp. The app has picked up in the Indian market which is itself getting accustomed to smartphones and the handheld device revolution. It was launched in India in July last year in partnership with Ibibo as Tencent has minority stake in the company. There were speculations about it starting to charge money from its customers but Dennis Hau of Tencent has cleared the rumors and said that it would remain free for its customers.
Wechat is the first Chinese ‘social media’ application which has the potential to go global, despite some home bound cynical remarks from the dissidents and politicians.
Internet messaging has become indispensable since the advent of smartphone. WeChat has adopted good business models and outreach programs to ensure good marketability and monetary buoyancy The app is the product of one of China’s biggest internet developer companies – Tencent and is known as ‘Weixin’ there.
The app can send voice messages, snapshots and emoticons. Tencent has adopted a very unique and focused market strategy for the app. Collaborations with college festivals and sponsorship rows were to be seen across the country which opened it up to the youth, the biggest user base of smartphones in India. Asked about monetization plans, the company officials indicate towards a possibility of launching games on the chat interface. Barclays analyst estimates the total number of WeChat users will reach at least 400 million by the end of 2013 and the company is likely to earn up to 2.16 billion yuan (US$348 million) from WeChat integrated games. Wechat has clear intentions of staying and expanding.
It acquired stake in Korean mobile telecommunications app Kakaotalk. With rising user base and net revenues, would WeChat be able to surpass the success story of its predecessor and competitor Whatsapp?
You can download the app here.
Image Courtesy | imandarin