If you think WeChat is just another WhatsApp-like messaging app, then Tencent, the makers of WeChat, would want to set things straight. WeChat has already combined the best of Facebook, Twitter and Skype and claims to be more innovative than its arch-rival WhatsApp. “We are an all-round social communication platform and not just an SMS replacement app like WhatsApp,” said Nilay Arora, VP Marketing and Business Development, 10c India (WeChat).
Since its launch in India last year, WeChat has added several interesting features like animated stickers, short video chats among several others and gave away free 1GB of cloud storage to its users. WeChat has already introduced official accounts through which users can connect to their favourite brands.
“Twitter is very public and many brands find it unfair. A common trend that we have observed is that people mostly tweet about brands when they are unhappy with the services and not when they are happy. Thus, a brand may have many highly satisfied customers but these customers never tweet about how good the brand is. While, if there is even one unhappy customer, that person will try to grab all the attention by tweeting something negative about the brand,” said Arora.
WeChat, through its official pages, is trying to do a Twitter by leveraging its platform to help consumers connect to their brands through an user-friendly chat platform which is personal.
Going forward, WeChat is looking to introduce gaming and wallet services in India. The WeChat wallet is popular in China where it is used to send money and do online shopping and the same might be introduced in India soon.
“Users can browse through products of e-commerce websites on their respective official WeChat pages. We are looking forward to introduce a wallet service through which users can directly buy products from official e-commerce WeChat pages, relieving them of the hassles of using their credit card everytime for purchases,” said Arora.
Arora said users can browse for products within the e-commerce WeChat page, share the product with their friends to get suggestions and then buy the same using their WeChat wallet.
On the gaming front, WeChat is aiming to integrate social games on their chat platform following what Facebook did earlier. “People loved to play games like FarmVille on Facebook, we might be doing the same thing with WeChat too as the parent company Tencent is already strong in online gaming,” said Arora.
When it comes to monetising, Arora said, “There are several ways to earn money from having an all-round communication platform. We are still in the process of expanding our user base in India, so, we are keeping all avenues open. We have a lot of monetising opportunities from official pages, featured content, wallet service, gaming, stickers and there is more to come.”