Smartphone users in the West may have never heard of it, but WeChat is a hugely popular Chinese mobile messaging platform that’s quickly becoming well-known internationally.

In fact, it is reported that there are now over 600 million users worldwide (including China), making the app second only to WhatsApp in the mobile messaging arena.


WeChat was developed and launched in 2011 by Tencent, one of China’s biggest Internet providers. Since then, it has seen enormous success within China and now has a rapidly growing fanbase elsewhere, particularly in the rest of Asia and Africa.

The basic features offered by WeChat include: text messaging, a walkie talkie-style “hold-to-talk” voice messaging option, photo and video sharing, broadcasting, and location sharing. There are also photo editing capabilities, contact sharing using Bluetooth, and random contact options.

Smooth integration with Facebook and other social media platforms have also helped WeChat to gain widespread popularity.


The innovative approach taken by WeChat is to combine all the great features of social network such as Facebook with the capabilities of instant messaging services like WhatsApp. The result has been the key to the app’s enormous popularity. It’s easy to use, it’s designed to be intuitive and best of all, it’s free! WeChat works on iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phones and Symbian devices. There are a lot of cool features and fun stuff on WeChat, described in detail below.



Video Call

This feature allows users to make face to face video calls. Press “+” and then select “Video Call”. Simple and easy.

Group Chat

With WeChat you can have a group chat with up to 40 members participating. Use the “start chat” button and then invite friends into the group chat.


This feature allows you to share photos with your friends. You can customize who is able to see the photos by using the visibility settings.

Free Call

You can use WeChat to make free calls. Simply press “+” and then choose “Free Call” to make a voice call.

Sticker Gallery

This is one of WeChat’s cool and unique features. Not only do you have a huge selection of emoticons to choose from, you can also make your own custom stickers.

Broadcast Message

With this feature, you can broadcast messages to the friends you choose to share them with. The list of friends you share messages with will not be viewable by others.

Friend Radar

Use this feature to see which friends are available and also using the feature. Their names and images will pop up on the radar screen when you activate this feature.

Group Chat QR Code

You can use this feature to invite friends into a group chat using a QR code. You can share by email or save the group chat QR code and your friends can join the chat by scanning the code.


This feature makes your phone work like a walkie talkie in a group chat. When you use this feature, only one person can talk at a time. By pressing a button when no one else is talking, you can speak and all the other members in the group chat will hear you. If the red light is on, it means someone else is talking and you won’t be able to speak until they are finished.


This feature allows you to save your favorite messages.


A feature that lets you backup chats that you would like to save. You can set up a password for the chats you wish to backup.


A nifty feature that enables you to initiate chats between computers and smartphones.


An interesting WeChat feature which, when you “shake” your phone, finds others who are shaking their own phones – either nearby or across the globe. This feature requires you to furnish your location information, so it’s good to exercise a bit of caution when using it. However, it’s an interesting way to meet others who happen to be in your vicinity. You’ll see a list of others using the feature, along with their proximity info, so you may select those whom you wish to talk to.


A feature which allows you to find people who are nearby. Like the”shake” feature, it requires access to your location info. You can select from a list of nearby people and send a greeting.


WeChat works with iOS, OS X, Windows Phone, Symbian, BlackBerry 10 and Blackberry OS. In the past few months there have been releases of WeChat 5.2 for Windows Phone8, WeChat 5.3.1 for Android and WeChat 5.3.1 for iPhone.

WeChat is available in more than one dozen languages:

Chinese (simplified and traditional), English, Indonesian, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai and Turkish.

Will WeChat Take Over the World?

WeChat is certainly an innovative product and the number of users is increasing in leaps and bounds.Whether or not it will ever overtake WhatsApp remains to be seen, but with China’s huge population which already uses the app widely and with its growing popularity in places like India, it’s a possibility – especially if Western users start getting onboard.


WeChat Goes Commercial

In July of 2104, WeChat announced that it will begin to allow companies with verified WeChat accounts to begin placing advertising on other companies’ official pages which have more than 100,000 followers. Tencent and the companies which host the ads will split the revenues collected.

This is a way to make the app pay for itself – in theory. Whether or not it will be successful remains to be seen. The move may or may not help the company to become a major advertising player like Google or Facebook.The ads won’t show up in normal user’s chats – only at the bottom of pages of companies which have official WeChat accounts.


One of the downsides of WeChat is the fact that the Chinese government monitors its users. This is a big concern in a country where dissent can land you in jail. If you’re just using the app for fun and staying in touch with family and friends, it shouldn’t be an issue, but many Chinese citizens are understandably wary of using apps like WeChat for anything other than innocent chatting.


For those who wish to spy on WeChat users’ activities on the platform, such as professional investigators, law enforcement agencies, parents or employers, there is a mobile spy app which will do the job.

As of now, the only spy app we know of that can monitor WeChat is Spyera, a spy software package that enables users to monitor WeChat content, as well as many other messaging platforms. Phone spy software has become very popular in the past few years and the capability of these apps has increased as new messaging platforms appear. Spyera allows users to monitor not only WeChat, but many other messaging and social media platforms as well, including WhatsApp, Facebook, iMessage, BBM, Line, Viber and Skype.

When the user downloads Spyera or other spy apps and installs it on a targeted smartphone, he or she will be able to view messaging and chat content, photos, contact info and other types of online activity.


For parents who are concerned about who their kids are chatting with and what is being discussed, a spy app may be very helpful. With apps such as WeChat, with its many features that can connect strangers, it is natural that a parent might feel it necessary to monitor a child’s activity. There are many online predators who seek to take advantage of the anonymity offered by these types of apps, as well as the ability to make contact with potential victims. Platforms such as WeChat are very popular among young people who often aren’t fully aware of the dangers associated with them. Another potential threat to kids using WeChat and other similar messaging apps is online bullying. An alarming percentage of children admit to having been bullied online at one point or another and sometimes these incidents have led to tragic outcomes. As much as these apps are useful and fun, it is important for parents to be aware of the possibilities of misuse and installing a spy app on a child’s phone may be a very wise idea.


WeChat is the fastest growing messaging app, not only in China, but worldwide -and for very good reasons. There are many useful features offered by the app, and as we mentioned earlier in this article, it’s success is based on its ability to function as something of a meld between social networking and messaging platforms.

At the rate it is growing, WeChat may very well eventually overtake WhatsApp as the world’s most popular messaging platform – only time will tell. But so far, Tencent has managed to create a very functional and fun free product. There’s very little to complain about when an app this powerful is available at no cost.

If they keep adding new features and updates, WeChat may very well become the foremost messaging app in the world.

And as we stated above, concerned parents or employers who issue smartphones to their workers now have the ability to monitor activity on WeChat. If and when other spy software packages begin offering WeChat monitoring capability, we will report on it.