Weixin: The Chinese’s version of WhatsApp, PayPal, Facebook Rolled into One

Imagine an app where you can do virtually everything – stay in touch with your family and friends, send money to someone, book a flight, hail a taxi, buy train tickets. That’s Weixin (WeChat) in a nutshell. 

The app users literally live on the app – chatting away. Waiting for the little red envelop popups, completing one transaction or the other, or even playing games. 

Today, there are over 1.1 billion monthly active Weixin users. Every day nearly 902 million people login into their Weixin account. Tencent, the parent company of the messaging app, said over 45 billion audio and video calls were made on the platform last year. 

How did an app launched less than eight years ago grow to become so popular?  

To answer that we’ll have to step back in time to understand, Weixin’s audience. 

How did Weixin Identify her audience? 

Twitter #weixin

As with most popular messaging apps, think WhatsApp, Weibo, Messenger, Weixin or WeChat focused on the 18 -25 years old as these demographics are fast early adopters. 

However, over the years, since 2015, there has been a gradual shift to the 26-35 age group dominating the Weixin user base.  And as the app’s penetration increases, a higher proportion of the older age group were on board. 

How Weixin’s features fits into its users’ lifestyles 

Interestingly, according to this report on Forbes, an average WeChat user is likely to check their account ten times in a day. This, of course, can be attributed to the various features and apps available on the platform. 

Take, for instance, a user can easily, hail a taxi from the app, settle utility bills, or even shop online; in addition to the more traditional texting, video and audio calling, and file sharing. 

Or take the case of most office works, that now rely on the app to carry out their work-related activities.  

With the new enterprise accounts, organizations can now create accounts for their employees where they can share files, conduct meetings, track project progress, or as in the case of supermarket chain Meiyijia, staffs have dedicated accounts where they report inventories. 

All these features built on-top the messaging app makes Weixin a kind of a super-app with a vast ecosystem that caters to the needs of its users. 

Is it possible for users to personalize their Weixin account? 

Another fascinating aspect of the app is that users can comfortably personalize their app to see only the things they wish to see and or customized to fit their lifestyle and needs. 

For instance, you can easily tweak the navigation menu to suit your needs or even remove it altogether. 

What elements of Weixin makes it sure a huge part of the Chinese lifestyle? 

Basically, every feature on the Weixin app makes it useful in everyday life for an average Chinese, especially with the integration of the smaller third-party apps. 

Take, for example, with the Weixin pay; it’s easy to conduct virtually every transaction online without leaving the app.  

You can read the news, follow your favorite blogs, complete work-related activities, while at the same chat, and stay in touch with friends. In other words, the platform has a clear defined value proposition in order to serve its users .

Finally, it’s not far-reaching to say Weixin has become an intricate part of the daily experience of the everyday Chinese.  The social media company applied the theory of the long tail and focused only on the Chinese market to become the go to app and dominate this niche.

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