We Chat: A Social Media Perspective Essay

2024 words - 8 pages

The social media, today, has become one of the most effective ways to communicate. Emails and telephones are no longer the primary way of electronic communication. Consumers today prefer to ‘tweet’, ‘comment’, or even ‘chat’ with their friends, relatives and colleagues. WeChat is a mobile text and voice messaging service that was developed by Tencent, China in January 2011. It is used in the form of a mobile application. WeChat application is available on various mobile platforms such as Android, iTunes, Blackberry, Windows and Symbian. It supports languages such as English, Chinese, Indonesian, Korean, Japanese, Turkish, Malay, Portuguese, Thai, Hindi and Russian. In most of the countries and mobile platforms, it is available for free downloading.
WeChat was earlier called “Weixin” and Ma Huateng, CEO of Tencent, devised it. It was rembranded in April 2012, for international markets. What began as a small project at Tencent Guangzhou Research and Project centre in October 2010, now quickly garnered more than 300 million users worldwide. The growth and popularity of WeChat has been phenomenal as it grew from 5 million users in 2011 to more than 300 million users in 2013.
WeChat, unlike its main competitor WhatsApp, has developed a platform where its users can chat, shop, play games, meet new people, and even do banking. In China, it is the number one app for messaging, and voice services. This is a big bonus for WeChat, as China is the world’s biggest telecom market. Apart from China, it is making progress in penetrating the Asian and South African markets. WeChat has started expanding into Europe, U.S and has launched a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign, which would cover India, South Africa, Italy and Spain.
WeChat has introduced many new features, which can be for Individual, and professional use. Individual use is the most frequent way of using WeChat where users simply ‘chat’ with their friends by using the messaging, and voice services of the mobile application. Users can also purchase and play games such as GunZ Dash, Craz3 Match and 2Day’s Match on WeChat. Moreover, users can use the ‘Video Call option’ that is supported in the higher versions of the application. Users can find their friends by their WeChat Ids or directly by their phone numbers. There is an option of ‘Web WeChat’ where people can chat between smart phones and computers. One of the most interesting features of WeChat is the ‘shake’ option , where if you shake your Smartphone , you could get connected to someone who is simultaneously shaking his/her Smartphone at the same time. There is another feature on WeChat called the ‘Drift Bottle’. This feature allows people to meet with strangers, but with a touch of mystery. You need to pick a bottle, write a message on it and throw it in the ‘sea’. Someone will pick it up; identities remain anonymous unless the person decides to make friends with the owner of the bottle. Photos can also be taken and modified with...

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