WeChat introduces a VoIP service as standalone app

   

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Messaging is pretty much in WhatsApp’s hands now, Mxit COO is also acknowledging it, and 600 million is just the start. So what else is there to do, are there any chances this can be taken to the next level? Maybe with VoIP.

Although VoIP (voice over IP) is not new, it seemed most top messaging apps were struggling to get a foothold first before adding more features and now we are starting to see a change.

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Sometime ago, we noticed support for VoIP hidden in the WhatsApp messaging app for iOS and it was kind of hinting at an imminent release of a VoIP service. But now, beating WhatsApp to the chase is WeChat with a standalone app of its own called Lightalk

WeChat’s parent company released this app as two of one, one called Weinex that only operates in its home country China, and the other (Lightalk) that is, well for the rest of us.

WeChat hasn’t had quite a huge presence in Zimbabwe that has been enjoyed by WhatsApp, but I noticed quite a sizeable number of people that use the IM as a niche service.

Personally, I also didn’t quite buy into its novelty. It was fine at first until it started getting all over the place. But in places like SA where top brands are adopting the service, maybe the new Lightalk could get a shot.

VoIP has been championed by Skype, Viber and a couple other IMs like Line, but why it didn’t quite take off is probably because they needed to get a lot of people on board first, which in itself is a challenge.

It’s a challenge that WhatsApp has figured out, and WeChat being second to the most popular messaging service feels it’s the right time to make a preemptive strike.

Image credit – WeChat

Do you think WeChat has a shot at pulling this off? Leave it in the comments below.


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