Now with games added, is WeChat getting more interesting or just bloated?

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WeChat Games screen

WeChat Games screen

If you have been using WeChat lately, you probably noticed that the social messaging platform has added games. For some regions and countries at least. If you are in Zimbabwe for example you will notice there are at least 3 games now:  one galactica kind of game called Pencil Pilot (which i really liked), 2Day’s Match, Craz3 Match and another called Gunz Dash.

The once just a clone of WhatsApp is clearly much more than just  WhatsApp now. In terms of features at least. And it’s not just games, you can shake your phone to discover random people around the world also shaking their phones; you can discover people nearby, you can buy stuff on the platform; and if you’re in China, WeChat is your EcoCash and you can even use it to hail and pay for a taxi. That’s clearly much more than WhatsApp which to this day remains an SMS replacement with multimedia and group chatting features (which is a huge annoying source of spam sometimes, but that’s another discussion)

You could actually say WeChat is more deliberately working to be a Facebook replacement, something WhatsApp appears to not be interested in. In fact for those of you that have explored WeChat enough, you will notice it has what Facebook essentially is, a place to share life Moments with friends and have them like and comment on your photos. WeChat wants to be the first app you open in the morning.

Looking at all this, one can’t help wonder if WeChat, with all these features, is set to unlock stickiness to its platform, especially in markets where its still to overtake the more dominant Facebook and WhatsApp, or, its the case of more being less. There’s clearly something appealing about the one mindedness of WhatsApp, but if you’ve used WeChat’s discovery features or casually played the platforms Pencil Pilot, you’ll also agree there’s some additional utility to be enjoyed there.

Bloated or feature rich, we will likely know by the end of 2014. Last year, WeChat was just a new clone on the block. But they have clearly made a lot of progress getting known, and 2014 might be their dominate or be forgotten year. Or maybe just continue being third best.

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What’s your opinion? Do you even use WeChat?

15 Comments

  1. Cdeoj says:

    how do you register it doesn’t seem to accept Zimbabwean numbers

    1. Just select any country! China for example… It will let you use your number. I’m assuming you’re on Android?

      1. Cdeoj says:

        i’m on Windows

    2. Harlin says:

      You need to get the newest version it has zimbabwe

  2. Greg Kawere says:

    downloaded the app & used it for a few hours & uninstalled it. too many adverts for my liking. it certainly came across as bloated from my end.

    but wechat is certainly onto something, especially the payment part, facebook has tried it but its not working for them. so yahh

    1. Which ads? not seeing any in my WeChat!

      1. Greg Kawere says:

        maybe twas another app or android itself, but some ads started popping up on my screen offering me this & that from wechat when i installed wechat. so will give it a go again. so yah

  3. Douglas Maposa says:

    Then is it worthwhile developing our own ‘whatsapp/WeChat/Facebook’ as a native mobile app, maybe in our local languages as well. I can see you have said WeChat is China’s Ecocash and you can do a lot more within the app. Mixit I know its another platform as well. @kabweza:disqus Will you give it a go?

    1. certainly won’t give it a go myself bu yeah, someone could always rethink social messaging, especially taking into account some local nuances like language, local social interaction, buying habits, local device & platform realities etc… and target regional and global scaling event?
      and yes, an EcoCash app too, or an ap that has come EcoCash-like features

      1. Douglas Maposa says:

        Thanks

  4. Zig Ziglar says:

    I use WeChat but if they continue adding features I am done with it….. I do not need all those features. However, its a cool app but I find myself using Whatsapp and loving its single purpose theme

  5. James says:

    Its a very good app but definately they need to specialize, all rounder thing does not really work because it will become too bloated for my liking

  6. Lincon says:

    Not many people trust items from China and its much publisiced issues to do with sensoring

    1. At least its censoring and not monitoring. But i’d hazzard they do both very well 😉

  7. QG says:

    “…you can shake your phone to discover random people around the world also shaking their phones…” ha ha ha ha, had never given it a second thought but now ill download it just for that feature… silly chinese

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