I’m sure most of the smart phone users in India who have a 3G connection use WhatsApp to speak to their friends across a multitude of devices having different operating systems like iOS, Android, Windows & Blackberry. But unfortunately WhatsApp hasn’t got a lot of new features since its inception compared to the competition in the market. So recently when I was browsing the Top Free apps on iOS store, I was surprised to see a new peer to peer messaging application called WeChat.
Once I installed WeChat on my android phone, I was trying to understand the features of the app. One disadvantage I felt about the WeChat application was that it was over 14MB in size compared to 11MB in size that WhatsApp is. But I guess if you look at the number of features it has, I think we can justify the file size considering that we have no constraint on space right now in this age of 32GB SD cards! I mean just have a look at the number of plug-ins which are available in WeChat to understand what I’m talking about. You will definitely say its worth every Mega Byte of the Â 14MB file size.
One of the interesting features of WeChat is the ‘Drift Bottle’ feature. With this feature you can make random friends anywhere around the world. Its like a smart phone version of ChatRoulette where you can bump into anyway on the earth using the same application! It has a very good animation of a bottle beingÂ droppedÂ into an ocean (possibly of users) and someone will reply to you with a message and you can continue the conversation with them!
By drifting a bottle, you can make a new friend by replying back to a message you got or throw it back into the sea for someone else. If you find a starfish, you can throw the bottle back and try again! Its one of the coolest ways around to make new friends!
WeChat is a product of Tencent Technology (Shenzhen) Company Ltd. and it is very popular in China but slowly its gaining popularity across the world for its wonderful features and it being completely free unlike WhatsApp which becomes paid after an initial trial period of an year or so. Another great feature from WeChat is the ‘Look Around’ feature which shows people using this function within your area. It shows people within 100miles of you whom you can chat with. A real cool feature to find out where you friends are and also make to some new friends!
‘Shake’ is a fun feature from WeChat App where you can bump phones together to add a WeChat user to your address book. Friends hanging out can easily exchange contact info by shaking phones together. What’s more you can even do Remote Shake where you can find people who are shaking phones at the same time! It’s a fun activity that you can do with friends or in parties!
Social features of WeChat App are always welcome in this well connected social world. The Facebook plug-in allows you not just to find Facebook friends who use WeChat but also share QR code of your WeChat App on Facebook so that your friends can scan the QR code and add you directly onto their WeChat!
WeChat App also has regular instant messaging features like ‘Broadcast Messages’ which delivers a message to many recipients at once. The recipients will see the message as part of a normal 1-to-1 chat with you and the recipient list will not be disclosed. This feature is really cool and wonderful way to pass some quick information to all your friends on WeChat and then continue the discussion afterwards.
‘Moments’ is a wonderful feature of WeChat App which I liked a lot as you can share amazing moments from your daily life which will be shared with your friends who can comment and interact with you on those moments. You can also follow your friend’s moments in a very nice Newsfeed kind of look.
Finally WeChat App is not just about messaging and communicating all the time but also about having fun with friends who are sitting very far away. You can play games like Rock Paper Scissors with them right on the chat screen itself which gives you some relief in the stressful life that we live in!
So when are you installing WeChat App and adding me as your friend?!!