October 4, 2023

WeChat: the ultimate evolution of social media

By Yichi Zhang

In China, WeChat is not only a popular social media platform, but also becoming a daily necessity to its Chinese users.

Tencent (company name) created WeChat as a messaging app at first similar to MSN, but it can only used on mobile phones. The messaging app is currently incompatible with the senior phones offered at fanmisenior.com/cell-phones-for-seniors/. We can make our own stickers for fun and send voice message to our followers. Also we can combine our cellphone number with our WeChat, so that we can add our friends from our cellphone’s contacts. Later on, we can use WeChat to make voice or video call, this means if our cellphone connects with wifi, then we make phone calls fro free. To do this otherwise would take something like the Agora.io app, or other options out there. What I want to show you today is how WeChat creates convenience and benefits to its users.

Nowadays in China, if we have a smart phone with WeChat and combined with your bank card, then we don’t need to bring our wallet anymore, since our WeChat can make ant purchase for us. In any offline stores in China, we can buy anything through our WeChat, with no amount limit. We can either buy a bottle of water for 2 RMB or something worth ten thousand RMB, it’s up to us, unless you don’t have enough money in your WeChat account. The purchasing process is also super simple, we just show the cashier our WeChat’s QR code, after they scan it everything is all set.

WeChat is our personal bank steward, WeChat can also help us to transfer money from our WeChat account to others’, it is very convenient because we can directly spend the money through WeChat without withdrawing the money. Also WeChat can help us to record every transcriptions.

Also if we want to call a taxi, WeChat can help us to make an appointment, and of course we can pay for the taxi through WeChat, it always cheaper to call a taxi through WeChat than the regular taxis, and sometimes WeChat even offers us discount.

As a social media platform, WeChat also has many public accounts including media outlets, brands, celebrities, blogs and so on. During our spare time, we can read news, articles or anything on WeChat without downloading other news apps.

When we lost your way, we can use WeChat’s map function to fin the way out, also we can share your realtime location with our friends when we are meeting up but can’t find each other. This is what we called WeChat GPS.

WeChat has combined so many feature functions, and it saves us lot of time during works and daily lives. For me it is definitely an innovative creation. Since 2016, there are many Chinese business wanted to corporate with WeChat, and two years later they did create a success. Now we can use WeChat to book railway and flight ticket because there are several ticket selling platforms are sponsoring WeChat, same as movie tickets, and hotels, even some online shopping platforms. WeChat create an unique social media mode that associate with e commerce, so its users can earn benefits from it. I think it will be a common trend that more and more e commerce platforms will seek any opportunities to corporate with social media platforms, and it is creating a win-win situation.

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10 thoughts on “WeChat: the ultimate evolution of social media

  1. I’m always interested to hear more on WeChat! I think it’s really interesting how it helps add global context that we normally do not have the opportunity to discuss in class, especially how different regions use social media. I also think it’s really interesting to compare the success of WeChat to the likes of Facebook. Although Facebook has more users, its fascinating to watch them try and expand their market in the same way that WeChat has found success. I’m sure we will only see more similarities as time goes on!

  2. WeChat is fascinating. Like Yichi lays out in this post, WeChat can do literally everything from one application. Imagine combining Facebook with Google Maps with Uber with ApplePay with your metro card with FaceTime with etc, etc. etc. Also, some of its main functionality relies on the use of QR code technology that really didn’t ever gain traction in the U.S. China has perfected it through WeChat. I think the unique governmental landscape of China and most of southeast Asia has set up a perfect system for WeChat to thrive. It’s something that most likely would never happen here. After spending a couple weeks in China this summer, I was able to be exposed to the app and use it daily. It was an ultra convenient way to communicate, consume and transact. I think from a social media perspective the WeChat application provides an easy way to reach people through how they want to be reached without the cumbersome process of having multiple applications. I think as the world continues to become more global we will see more platforms like WeChat that create unique experiences for consumers.

  3. I really enjoy reading your blog. As a Chinese, I have to say that WeChat has indeed changed the way Chinese people pay and even travel. Before, we must be sure that we have an ID card and a wallet. Now we only need a mobile phone with WeChat. I thought that WeChat can only available in China. Now I see it going to the international market and getting more and more recognition. I realize that social media can really change people’s lives.

  4. Yichi – I just returned from China and was fascinated with the way the platform was really used for everything. Instead of segmenting into so many different apps, all of your apps are really in one place: WeChat. I wonder if WeChat will spread to other countries. I noticed that it was used in other parts of Asia, but nowhere more so than China. I don’t know what the success rate would be here because we are so invested in segmenting parts of our lives. Very interesting!

  5. In my opinion, it is very interesting content and new to me. Especially the function of what Wechat can do, and it combines lots of tool in social media. Moreover, I’m very interested in the section of women’s style. It seems like this part is for helping female some cloth choice. I also like the part you put your video call pictures on the content that makes authenticity part and really showing the function of Wechat and what it can do to bring your life to the next level. I am really interesting about the future of Wechat since it is a potential app.

  6. Yichi,

    I have never heard of this app until just now! I think it is important for us as communicators to familiarize ourselves with all different forms of media across cultures. This way we can formulate strategies that help reach a wide audience. I also like how WeChat has combined a lot of different functions into one app. I know a lot of people don’t like a cluttered phone, and WeChat makes it so we can organize our lives in one app. The only question I had would be around security functions. What do they do to ensure credit card information, phone numbers, etc. aren’t in danger of?

  7. Hi Yichi,

    You’ve provided a very thorough, intriguing explanation of all the functions of WeChat. It makes me want to go and download it! It must be very convenient having everything you need to get through the day in one place. Are you ever nervous about security breeches for your private info?

  8. WeChat has been a hot topic lately! In one of my classes last semester we discussed it a lot and what it would look like in the United States world. I enjoyed your personal explanation of WeChat, it does scare me a little the involvement the government has however! But it does sound like another great way to stay connected to family and friends.

  9. WeChat has been a hot topic lately! In one of my classes last semester we discussed it a lot and what it would look like in the United States world. I enjoyed your personal explanation of WeChat, it does scare me a little the involvement the government has, however! But it does sound like another great way to stay connected to family and friends.

  10. Hi Yichi,

    Thank you for your post! Your insights were awesome and it really helped me understand from a different perspective. During the fall term, I worked on a digital media project with a group about WeChat. It’s insane to me the amount of capability one application can have. From online shopping to group texts to paying utilities!!
    What makes me nervous is the fact that it’s expanding and could potentially reach the US. Ultimately, this isn’t a bad thing, but the cyber security level of WeChat is not great. What if it becomes a worldwide thing? What if everyone puts their information in, and WeChat is hacked?? Super scary and interesting. Thank you for your post!

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