WeChat – Rich Feature set, Cross-Platform Chat application

WeChat is a Text and Voice Messaging application available for different Handheld device OS platforms. The App is developed by Tencent. With Global registered user count standing above 100 million, we can say that the company has a rich user base and you will surely find some or most of your friends on WeChat.

History
In case you think WeChat is latest entrant in the messaging arena, it has its presence for more than 1.5 years. The app was initially launched in January 2011 with the name Weixin in China. The App was re-branded WeChat in April 2012 as it is spreading its International presence.

What is WeChat
WeChat can be called as all-in-one chat or messaging app which allows Text messaging, Hold-to-talk Voice Messaging, Broadcast messaging, Photo/Video Sharing, Location Sharing etc.

Features

Messaging (Text, Voice, Photo, Video)
Yes, you read it correct. WeChat app allows simple Text Messaging along with Voice, Photo and Video Messaging. I like the Hold-To-Talk feature which allows users to send short voice messages to friends, Hold the button to record the message and release when done. We can also share Photo/Videos/location/contacts via WeChat app.

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Shake
This feature is a Location based feature where users shake their phones together and identify who all are around () and then connect with each other.

Look Around
Another Location based feature to find WeChat users around.

Drift Bottle
A Feature where users find a bottle drifting in the sea and Pick the bottle to read the message. If interested, both can be friends or leave the message for others to read. Throw your own bottle with a text or voice messages so that you can make new contacts.

Facebook Connect
This feature allows users to connect to Facebook account and find Facebook friends who are on WeChat and connect to them.

Emoticons
WeChat provides a good set of Emoticons to be used during conversations. Users can even add their own images as part of Custom Emoticon collection.

Group Chat
Users can create a group, add users and then begin their conversation with Text/Voice messages. The Group Chat allows upto 40 members.

Moments
One of the few features I like is Moments. It allows users to post an image or text and share with friends. Its a wall where we can find all the images/text posted by us or friends and recollect all the memories we shared.

Plugins
Plugins can be installed to add new features to be added to WeChat. Facebook Connect, Drift Bottle are some of the plugins which are provided with the app.

With all the above listed features, it gives a tough competition to other apps around like WhatsApp, Viber, XBuddy, Nimbuzz etc.

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In case you are using or have used WeChat, do share your views on what is missing or what features have impressed you.

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