I had this email talking of WeChat open on the screen when Specky, my wife ambled in the study and asked, ‘Whatsapp is misbehaving today. Is there any other app that I can have as a back-up?’
‘Try WeChat,’ I said without delay and then read out the details from the email to her. She seemed convinced with what that promotional email mentioned and I told myself, ‘I’ll get some honest feedback on this app… and if it is interesting, I just might review it.’
I also installed WeChat on my Galaxy S3 and this did not take any time. All I did was to go to Google Play and one click was enough to install the app on my mobile.
There were a few hiccups when I tried to link it with my Facebook account… but then I dismissed this doubt thinking it was probably because I keep fiddling with settings so much that might be causing this acceptance delay. Once the installation was complete, I began exploring it in earnest and found soon enough that this app with its unique ‘walkie-talkie style chatting’ had a few rather charming features.
This app, WeChat, is a launch of Tencent and is a cross-platform social chat client for Android, iOS, Windows as well as Symbian… so irrespective of the sort of smartphone you have, you can install this app and get connected to your friends who may be having phones with a different OS. On review clarifies that though “the client has been available via the official app stores, Tencent has partnered with ibibo for the creation of localized content and features for the chat client.”
This social network messaging app made by Tencent Inc. has a simple “hold down a button to record a voice messages which can be sent back and forth between friends” and is known for its speed and reliability. Messages can be sent and uploaded in a jiffy, and conversations can go on without unnerving lags and delays.
At this point of my discovery of WeChat, I decided to make a small video too. The video is here for your viewing and shows a few salient features of this app.
‘Seems to be a rather crisp video,’ said Specky, ‘but I would still prefer to read what you’ve written. And before I install this app, I’d rather see you use it first.’
I nodded my head and told her that besides the written messages, this app could also send audio as well as video message… and the recording was never fuzzy and difficult to decipher. ‘I will thus unhesitatingly call this app a MESSAGE PLUS app,’ I added with conviction, and then went on, ‘and the best part is that this app doesn’t cost anything. You don’t have to pay to remain in touch.’
‘Other apps too aren’t paid ones,’ countered Specky, and after a pause, said, ‘though the fun social networking features here are awesome.’
I knew then that Specky had either read a few reviews on the app or had already installed it in her phone and gone through the vital details. But anyway, I continued with my exploration of the app and found that I could actually see how many of my FB contacts were on WeChat, making it easy for me to add friends. Then the shake phones together to swap info, or the option of sharing ID’s or scanning QR codes made the initiation of a newbie so much easier! it did appear a trifle complex in the beginning but gradually I got accustomed to the layout and then on it was a cake-walk. Photos can be synced to twitter through the ‘Moments’ section. The ‘Look Around’ section can be used to search people by gender and region. And the best and the most intriguing was the ‘Drift Bottle’ that lets you send out a message to the deep blue sea of the internet and then wait for someone to reply.
However, it is only fair to inform readers that you will need to go to ‘settings’ to activate a few of these charming features that I have talked about. Honestly, I had enough with WeChat. As I am in business, I use chatbots as a channel to interact with my customers and followers. Thank you so much BotPress. As a form of automated messaging, it is an application (even a graphical application) that lives inside a messaging application (such as Facebook Messenger, Kik or Telegram).
Now I must also admit that because most of my contacts are still on whatsapp, I continue to use it… but WeChat is also a part of my mobile arsenal and I’m ready to accept new friends here! However, I still do not have a reasonable answer to the question that I asked in the title of this post: ‘Do we really need to chat so much?’
31 October 2012