Journalist Adam Century recently wrote about Weixin in the venerable pages of The New York Times. It’s high time for WeChat to start getting international attention.
The story, Chinese Messaging App Gains Ground Elsewhere, is a sharp overview of the WeChat phenomenon.
As I exited the Taipei City Hall metro station, two beautiful Taiwanese girls in short shorts and skimpy tank tops approached me. The ice-cold shower of reality hit me two seconds later when I found that they were trying to sell me something. D’oh.
But my interest was rekindled when I discovered that something is WeChat (or 微信 in Chinese), the mobile chat app that we at TechRice have predicted as the China tech story of 2012.
Now the story has moved beyond China.
Facebook may have shelled out for Instagram, but don’t expect a billion-dollar acquisition of a mobile startup by Tencent anytime soon.
Instead, version 4.0 the Weixin mobile app is vintage Tencent. The new release adds a host of new SNS features, many of which copy from Path, Instagram, and Google Circles, and still others that are completely new and unique. It’s a prime example of the homegrown combination of copying, remixing, and innovation that Tencent executes to perfection.
With Weixin, Tencent finally has a product for white-collars, an objective that had eluded the firm for over a decade. With Weixin Lifestyle, it’s building a brand for white-collars too. We at TechRice thinks that’s a very big deal.
I first introduced Weixin (微信) back in September. Since then, Tencent’s mobile IM app has gone on an absolute tear. If 2011 was the year of Sina Weibo, 2012 will be the year of Weixin.
Weixin just turned one year old, and its development team just released a few staggering facts. It has made a major splash among smartphone users, pulling together all of Tencent’s services into a single mobile app.
Tencent, the company behind QQ, is bringing the latest mobile messaging service to the mainstream. Whether you call them a fast follower or an unashamed copycat, Tencent is adept at spotting and pushing the latest internet trends to its vast userbase. Tencent’s version is called Weixin (微信).
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