Category: News

What is WeChat’s dream? WeChat founder Allen Zhang explains

Editors’ note: Recently there’s been heated discussion of WeChat as an example of the “all-in-one app” trend that has been circling many tech circles. We would like to take the opportunity to share our official translation of a recent speech by WeChat founder Allen Zhang, Senior Executive Vice President of Tencent, and President of WeChat Business Group, at WeChat’s Open Class Pro event  on Jan 9th 2019. 

In his 4-hour-long speech, Allen asserted that the number of users always has a maximum ceiling, but the value that mobile apps can deliver via improved services is limitless. Constant innovation is the only solution for a brighter future. However, there is a limit to how much a single app can hold, therefore WeChat is expanding to revolve around different standalone apps (including WeRead) and will try different services that are independent from but related to WeChat. 

Please note that the content is a translation of a speech originally delivered in Chinese and does not necessarily represent the exact wording in Chinese.

WeChat founder Allen Zhang delivered his first public speech on WeChat’s product principles and challenges at WeChat’s Open Class Pro annual event on January 9, 2019.

Good evening everyone! I’m Allen Zhang.

We just looked at some complaints (on screen). Very good, because every day I hear complaints, I’m already used to it. I feel that in China, every day there are 500 million people saying we are not doing well and 100 million people wanting to teach me how to make products. I think this is very normal. But I’m not here to teach everyone how to make products.

I feel this year was special, WeChat’s eighth year. In August, WeChat’s daily login rate surpassed one billion. This is a momentous milestone, possibly the first Chinese app to reach one billion daily active users. We never released such information before. Maybe to us it was just a matter of time, but to a mobile product developer, it is still an achievement worth celebrating.

Read More What is WeChat’s dream? WeChat founder Allen Zhang explains >>

What’s new in WeChat 7.0: The biggest upgrade in four years!

WeChat v7.0 with a fresh new logo
WeChat is celebrated it’s 8th anniversary this month. Every day over one billion people log in to WeChat as it delivers seamless communications service and provides new ways to share and connect with friends.
 
Download the latest version, WeChat v7.0 for Android and iOS now and try out all these new features:
  1. Redesigned Look & Feel
  2. Time Capsule
  3. Chat Alerts
  4. Selfie Stickers
  5. “Wow” Feature in Top Stories

1. Redesigned Look & Feel

WeChat has been redesigned to be lighter and brighter so you can concentrate on the messages and features that are important to you. Aside from a lighter colored WeChat logo (above), we’ve redesigned the icons for all of WeChat’s features, changed to a simpler and lighter color palette, and adjusted the spacing for things like chat bubbles and menus to make WeChat easier to read.

2. Time Capsule

Sharing your life with your phone’s camera has never been so easy. Just go to “Me” and tap the camera icon in the upper-right corner to add to your Time Capsule. Use your camera to capture your pet’s tricks, an awesome basketball shot, or any of life’s little tidbits. After recording a video, you can decorate it with text, stickers, or even background music.
Once your Time Capsule video is completed, it can be viewed for 24 hours by your friends. Likewise, you can find your friends’ recent videos when you see a “blue circle next to their profile photos in chats. Double-tap their profile photo to view their Time Capsule videos.
As you collect these videos over time, you’ll be able to revisit old memories by going to “Me -> My Posts -> and tapping Time Capsule to see the old Time Capsule videos that you captured. These old posts are only visible to you.

3. Chat Alerts

This new feature ensures you know when you receive that important message from your friend, significant other, or business associate when time is of the essence. If there is a chat that is particularly urgent, you may configure a Chat Alert by tapping the “…” menu in the upper-right corner of the chat screen and enabling Chat Alert. For the next three hours, you will receive a special alert when you next receive a message in this chat. Your phone will vibrate and a fullscreen alert will notify you of your new important message.

Use Chat Alerts to make sure that urgent messages receive your special attention.

4. Selfie Stickers

In WeChat v6.7.4, we launched Selfie Stickers as a way to express your inner emotions in a fun and colorful way. Users responded by creating millions of their own, customized stickers. Due to popular demand, we’ve made it easier to find Selfie Stickers. Just tap the “Stickers button in the chat bar and tap the Selfie Stickers tab in the stickers bar.

Create your own stickers and share a laugh with your friends as you chat away.

5. “Wow” Feature in Top Stories (available in select regions)

As part of the WeChat’s Official Accounts platform, Subscription Accounts allow media, brands, and individual authors to connect and share news, updates, and posts with a vast base of readers. When reading an article by a Subscription Account, you can now tap the 好看 (Wow) button (formerly “Like”) at the bottom of the article to express your appreciation. This will automatically result in the article being shared to your friends via the new “Wow” feature.
 
Within Top Stories, we’ve added a “Wow” tab that allows you to view each day’s articles shared by friends when they similarly tapped the 好看 (Wow) button. As Top Stories is only available in limited regions, you may have to enable the feature first by going to Me > Settings” > General > Manage Discover. After enabling, you will find on the Discover screen the Top Stories entry, which you can tap and enter to see the new “Wow” tab.
“Wow” makes sharing news and articles easier and more social.

WeChat v7.0 brings a whole new level of convenience and sharing to your phone. Download and try it now from the App Store or Google Play!

What’s new in WeChat 6.6.7 for iOS: Float window and in-camera translation

Download and install the latest version of WeChat version 6.6.7 for iOS and check out the latest features.

Float a web page window

When reading an Official Account article or viewing a web page, swipe and hold right and a small “Float window” area will appear in the lower right corner. Drag and release to this corner and your web page will be minimized to a small, floating icon so that you can continue to use other parts of WeChat and return to reading your web page later.

 

 

Use “Scan” to translate English to-and-from Chinese

Go to the “Discover” tab and select “Scan” and a new “Translate” option is offered. Place  text such as from a menu or a newspaper in screen and tap the camera button and it will automatically translate the text. This is a great option for when you’re traveling or on-the-go.

  

 

This feature converts English to Chinese or Chinese to English and we hope to add additional languages over time.

Voice Input now supports English, Mandarin Chinese, and Cantonese Chinese

Want to send a message while on-the-go or when it’s inconvenient to type a message out? Within a chat, tap the “+” button, select “Voice Input” and start speaking your message to have it automatically converted to text. Now, “Voice Input” supports English, Mandarin Chinese, and Cantonese Chinese making it even easier for you send messages to your friends around-the-world.

  

 

Go to the iOS App Store and upgrade to the latest version of WeChat today.

What’s new in WeChat 6.6.6 for iOS: “Save as Draft” in Moments

Spring time has arrived and a new version of WeChat for iOS brings a useful new feature.

  

Share your life’s favorites memories to your friends by posting your photos to Moments. In the latest version of WeChat, if you need more time to assemble your Moments post, you can tap “Cancel” in the Edit screen and select to save a draft of your Moments. This allows you to continue to browse your Moments or check your chat messages and return to your draft later.

Download the latest version of WeChat for iOS from the App Store.

WeChat Go: The One Travel Tool To Rule Them All

WeChat is more than just a chat app. Now, WeChat can help you on your travels around Europe! WeChat and the Netherlands Royal Communications Group (KPN) launched WeChat Go “Europe Experience” Mini Program in late March.

This Mini Program follows the cooperation between WeChat Go and KPN in July 2017 where a KPN WeChat Go SIM card was launched offering coverage in over 32 European territories. The WeChat Go “Europe Experience” Mini Program has launched for six of the most popular travel destinations in its first phase: Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin, Rome, London and Barcelona. It’s a one-stop platform for tourists to obtain detailed information about these six cities, including tourist attractions, culinary delights, and shopping.

Not only does it offer details such as opening hours and location descriptions, the Mini Program also allows users to purchase tickets for popular places and receive promotional discount vouchers for local vendors.

These are among the latest steps that WeChat has taken to establish a comprehensive travel experience for Chinese outbound tourists. Following in the footsteps of its collaboration with KPN, WeChat is also now looking to upgrading users’ experiences in United States and Southeast Asia and open more opportunities with overseas business partners.

With all of these new features constantly being rolled out, it is clear that WeChat is increasingly becoming more than just an app. It’s a lifestyle.

What’s new in WeChat 6.6.2 for iOS

The WeChat Team has just released WeChat version 6.6.2 for iOS and it contains five new improvements:

  1. English Voice Input: English and other non-Chinese interface users can speak and have their English speech automatically converted into a text message
  2. Login Manager: Conveniently switch between different WeChat accounts
  3. “Discover” tab management: Show or hide features shown via the “Discover” tab
  4. File size limit raised: Now send files in chats up to 100MB in file size
  5. Animated GIFs support in Favorites: Animated GIFs saved to Favorites will display as animated

1. English Voice Input

English and other non-Chinese interface users can now use “Voice Input” from within the chat “+” menu to send text messages. Voice input allows users to speak into WeChat in English and immediately convert their words to text so you can send a text message instead of a voice message.

As shown below, tap on “Voice Input” and a “Hold to Talk” button will appear.

Press and hold the “Hold to Talk” button and begin speaking your message and you’ll see the converted text appear on-screen in realtime. Once your done speaking, you can check and edit you message as necessary before sending the text to your friend. This not only saves time, but is also a convenient way to text long messages or to send text messages when on-the-go.

 

2. Login Manager

Do you frequently switch two different WeChat accounts on the same device. Now you can use Login Manager  by going to “Me” > “Settings” > ”Login Manager” to easily switch to another account. You will be logged out of your current account (meaning that you will no longer receive system notifications when you receive a message on the prior account) and logged in to the new account.

Tap the “+” button and enter your login credentials to log in your second WeChat account. After logging in to your second account, return to this screen by going to “Me” > “Settings” > “Login Manager” again to easily switch back to your original account. For your account’s safety, you’ll need to verify your identity by entering a password, SMS confirmation code, or Voiceprint verification each time you switch between accounts. You can also tap “Edit Accounts…” to remove an account from the Login Manager screen.

3. “Discover” tab management

At WeChat, we work hard to bring you innovative, new features that enrich your app experience. In order to make the WeChat experience more suitable for all users, we’ve added the ability for you to show or hide features that appear in your WeChat “Discover” tab.

Go to “Me” > “Settings” > “General” > “Manage Discover” and you will have the option to show or hide the various optional features displayed within your “Discover” tab.

4. File size limit raised: Now send files in chats up to 100MB in file size

Share files up to 100 MB in size when sending from WeChat’s mobile app . On iOS, a “Files” button has been added to the “+” menu in chats which allows you to select a file from  iOS “Files”.

 

5. Animated GIFs saved to Favorites will be animated as well

Animated GIFs saved to Favorites will display animated. Previously, saved GIFs would only show the first frame of the animation, but now you can have the whole animated experience within Favorites.

As seen below,  adda GIF image from your Photos Album to your Favorites.

Once saved to Favorites, the GIF image will be shown animated.

Be sure to upgrade to the latest version of WeChat on iOS today.

What’s new in WeChat 6.6 for iOS

The WeChat Team has just released WeChat version 6.6 for iOS and it contains two feature enhancements:

  1. Notes in Favorites can be saved as an image, making it easier to share them to Moments or chats
  2. After recalling a message, just tap a link to quickly edit the recalled message

 

1. Notes in Favorites can be saved as an image, making it easier to share them to Moments or chats

WeChat has made it easier for you to share the notes that you’ve saved to Favorites to Moments and chats. Now you can tap the upper-right corner menu and select “Save as Image” to save your entire note as a single image. Post the entire image as a Moments post or to a chat.

Alternatively, now you can choose to share the note directly to Moments. From the upper-right corner menu select  “Share on Moments” and your note will be shared to your friends.

2. After recalling a message, just tap a link to quickly edit the recalled message

Sent a message with a typo? Recall the message, reuse the old content to edit your message and send! When you recall a message in version 6.6, a Re-edit link will appear next to “You’ve recalled a message”. When you tap on the Re-edit link, the message input box will contain the recalled text. Now you can easily modify your original message to correct the typo and send again.

Be sure to upgrade to the latest version of WeChat on iOS today.

 

What’s New in WeChat 6.5.22 for iOS

WeChat’s most recent release (v.6.5.22) includes key new features and improvements to make your WeChat experience on iOS devices even better:

  • Compatibility with iPhone X
  • Set a reminder to a chat message
  • New dual-column design for iPad
  • Enhanced Notes in Favorites
  • Improved chat history search experience (China)
  • Generate your own Reward Code (China)

Be sure to upgrade today!

 

Compatibility with iPhone X

 

WeChat has been updated to support Apple’s latest release, iPhone X. In addition to a visual design suitable for the unique screen design on iPhone X, additional features include support for Face ID to verify your transactions when using WeChat Pay and an improved design for system notifications when receiving messages on iPhone X.  

Read More What’s New in WeChat 6.5.22 for iOS >>

Travel During China’s National Day Holiday: The most remote destination posted to WeChat Moments was from…

In celebration of the final day of China’s extended National Day holiday, the WeChat team presents our “WeChat National Day Holiday Data Report”: Which cities had the most people traveling abroad? What were the most popular destinations abroad for tourists this year?

 

China’s National Day extended holiday has become the most popular period for Chinese tourists to travel each year, and in recent years there has been tremendous growth in the travel industry and in travel to regions and countries abroad.

 

Let’s take a look together at this year’s data.

 

Read More Travel During China’s National Day Holiday: The most remote destination posted to WeChat Moments was from… >>

Users Ring in the Lunar New Year with 2.1 Billion Minutes of Free Calls on WeChat

WeChat aims to connect users to the people they care about around the world. One of the most popular times to connect and call loved ones is during the holidays. This Lunar New Year, users made 2.1 billion minutes of free calls on WeChat – five times more than the previous year.

 

A total of 46 billion red packets were also exchanged during this Spring Festival holiday.

 

Learn more about how WeChat users celebrated the holiday in the data report below created by the WeChat team.

2017微信春节数据报告_170203_EN-01

Read More Users Ring in the Lunar New Year with 2.1 Billion Minutes of Free Calls on WeChat >>

WeChat for Mac 2.1.0 – Free Voice and Video Calling Straight from Your Desktop

WeChat for Mac 2.1Introducing our latest WeChat for Mac update – 2.1.0! Now available for download on your Mac desktop. Call and video chat your friends for free directly on your computer without missing a beat.

 

What’s New in Version 2.1.0?

  • Place voice and video calls for free with friends
  • Convert audio messages into text messages for easy reading (Chinese-only)
  • View our improved screenshot feature
  • Forward and favorite chat scripts
  • Scroll over animated stickers to preview before sending  
  • Enjoy our optimized larger fonts 
  • Easily adjust the height of your input chat field to fit even your longest messages

Be sure to upgrade today to experience all the new WeChat for Mac 2.1.0 features!

Free Global Calling for Thanksgiving – WeChat Out Limited-Time Offer

In celebration of Thanksgiving, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to you, our users.  Starting today, WeChat users outside China will receive one week of free global calling on WeChat Out!

 

That’s right. As you are enjoying your delicious Thanksgiving meal, share your thanks by calling loved ones in more than 100 countries and regions – absolutely free.

WeChat Out Thanksgiving Offer

Consider this our way of saying thanks! Simply tap the “Discover” tab on your WeChat menu bar  > click “WeChat Out” to access the feature.

 

The holiday season is a time to reconnect with friends and family to express gratitude. Be sure to participate in our holiday offer valid November 24, 2016 – November 30, 2016.

 

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us on team WeChat!

“Invite Friends, Get Free Calls” with Latest Release of WeChat Out Globally

WeChat users in 12 countries including the United States, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Italy, Thailand and India can now use WeChat Out to make calls to mobile phones and landlines in over 200 countries for nominal rates. WeChat Out is the latest milestone offering of the world’s fastest growing social app with 762 million monthly active users around the world.

 

New WeChat Out users will receive more than an hour* of free calling credit. And all users can earn even more rewards by participating in our “Invite Friends, Get Free Calls” campaign.

 

One Click to a Free Call

“Invite Friends, Get Free Calls” is simple – the more you give, the more you get.

WeChat Out

1. After upgrading your app version, enter the event screen and tap “Invite Friends, Get Free Calls”

2. Share WeChat Out gift cards with friends

3. Once your friends redeem their gift card and make a call, you’ll receive one too for the same amount you gave. View all your gift cards under My Coupons.

Read More “Invite Friends, Get Free Calls” with Latest Release of WeChat Out Globally >>