At the beginning of my university studies, I was introduced to a mobile phone application that has grown to become one of the most powerful marketing tools the world has seen today.
After studying a semester of Mandarin and befriending a number of Chinese students, I found that almost none of my new friends used Facebook; even if they did have a Facebook profile, their page was mostly dormant, inactive. To practice our language skills and keep in touch, we used WeChat.
Source link: click here (Google play download page)
At first, WeChat looked to be a simple messaging application, like WhatsApp; thusly I have often referred to WeChat as a Chinese version of WhatsApp. Since downloading the application however, it has grown to become much more than a simple messaging substitute.
Today, WeChat is what we may refer to as a super-app. Once you explore the various features of WeChat, you’ll find that it can be used in so many ways that it competes not only with WhatsApp, but also with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Paypal…the list is still growing.
In my current feed of WeChat, friends post images to showcase their day, make a comments on their friends weekend adventure, advertise a clubbing event in Hong Kong, offer a discount on health supplements, and even advertise property for rent and sale. User-generated content on WeChat feeds cover the same content as the biggest players in Western social media do, including both social and business networking.
As a result of the diverse range of content that can be created and shared through WeChat, there are ample opportunities for companies in data collection and market research.
Take six minutes to watch this video by the New York Times to see exactly how ubiquitous and integrated in the lives of Chinese citizens this application really is.
Source: New York Time article
As per the video, before WeChat does take a hold of the broader international market, it surely must create an appeal that guarantees the privacy of its users and their personal information.
Can WeChat make the move to the rest of the world? The image presented in this video to me is breathtaking; technology seamlessly integrates with our lives and enhances our ability to stay connected with friends, all the while acting as a platform to connect buyers and suppliers in various markets.