WeChat, the China-based messaging and social media app has hit one billion monthly users, Tencent, WeChat’s parent company reported. The app is known as Weixin in China where the vast majority of its users are. The recent Lunar New Year helped the app to boost its user interaction.
There are many reasons behind WeChat’s success story. Though it began as a messaging app, it evolved quickly. It is now, China’s biggest social network. Along with connecting with their friends, users also book a taxi, order food, make appointments with their doctor, do their banking, or even find a date.
Especially in many cities of China, the app has become an integral part of the daily life. With the growth of digital payments in China, many people have skipped cash payments and swiping cards to payment services run by Alibaba and Tencent. WeChat's payments feature lets users upload their banking details and then can buy products or services from any official account.
WeChat has also let many businesses reach customers or would-be customers through smartphones. Companies and organizations create official WeChat accounts which are a little similar to any apps. Some companies do this before they even set up an app of their own. Users can subscribe to those accounts and get promotions or links messaged directly to them which they can click to go to the shopping page or website.
Although the app is developed for global users, WeChat really is all about China in many ways.
It understands Chinese market and taps into what users are doing both online and offline.
Restrictions on access to many Western social media services such as Facebook and Twitter - as well as Google - meant most Chinese people do not have access to these services legally, even if they wanted them
And that created an environment where local players like WeChat could thrive.