Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Why you should use Wechat instead of Whatsapp - The ultimate Whatsapp alternative
Before I arrived in China i had never heard of Wechat but since day 1 in China people have not been asking me about my phone number if they want to keep in touch instead they were asking me for my QQ number or my Wechat ID.
I decided to try both and right now i have to say that i can't really do without Wechat.
Wechat is a Chinese instant messaging service developed by Tencent, I think it's the only competitor to whatsapp at the moment.
Before using Wechat I had the prejudice that a Chinese software can't really compete in the market because I assumed it will be a copy of Whatsapp but after I tried Wechat i found a lot of different features that are not available in Whatsapp.
Wechat is expanding dramatically in the user base, in January 2013 they reached 300 Million subscriber.
Let's take a look on some of the strength points of Wechat over Whatsapp (I will not mention here the features available on both) :
1- Wechat is completely free, it's not a trial for one year then you have to pay like whatsapp.
2- Wechat supports signing in with a user ID and a password unlike Whatsapp where you can only sign in using your phone number.....It means that in case you change your phone number you still have the same user ID, same contacts and same profile in Wechat while in Whatsapp if god forbid you change your phone number then all is lost.
3- Wechat works on different platforms just like Whatsapp available for Nokia, Blackberry, Android, Windows phone and Apple....However Wechat excels because it has a web platform so you can use it on your browser.
4- Wechat can find people nearby and allow you to message them so you can get to know new people ;) which is a completely absent feature in Whatsapp.
5- There's a feature in Wechat to allow payment through your phone by connecting your credit card to it although i haven't figured out how this works exactly and i'm not very sure i want to safe my card details on a phone, from what I hear is that this payment service is available in some places in Shanghai and Beijing.
6- On Wechat you can backup your chat history exactly like Whatsapp however Wechat excels here as well because you can save the chat history into their cloud for 7 days and retrieve at anytime during the 7 days.
7- Wechat has a feature called moments which is like a timeline for you to post statuses and photos...absent in Whatsapp.
8- There's a Shake feature through which you can talk to strangers if both of you are shaking your phones at the same time.
There are so much more to discover with Wechat and I'm predicting that soon people will switch over to Wechat and abandon Whatsapp because why would you pay for something you can get for free?
I also predict that Chinese software companies will continue booming in the future providing free solutions to different issues we have at the moment.
You can go over to Wechat website to download and discover more features.