Blog Post 1
Wechat is a free instant messaging application for smart phones which is launched by Tencent Holdings Ltd in January 21, 2011. By November 2013, registered user of Wechat has exceeded 6 billion. It is an application which has the most download records and users in the world. At the moment when Wechat emerged, a majority people considered this application is simply a substitute for QQ (a wonderful messaging application also deviced by Tencent Holdings Ltd 15 years ago). However, users of Wechat quickly observed the difference. QQ is a product of the PC era, and Wechat is specificly designed for mobile internet. The most typical characteristic of Wechat is that there is no ‘online’ concept because smart phones are always online. Wechat provides many new functions which QQ can’t provide such as online Wakie Talkie, sending current location and instant voice message, etc. (Gunning, p39) Everyone has the passion for quality, when people find out the brilliant quality of Wechat，they realized that it is the most amazing instant messaging application in the world. The number of users increased rapidly.
As I know, Tencent Holdings Ltd did not advertised much on Wechat. This application was merely promoted between QQ users. QQ users get reminder from Tencent Holdings Ltd. This manner is very useful, for example, when a QQ email user receive an email from anther user, there’s a small button in the email reminds the users that they can invite the other to chat on Wechat so they don’t need to check their email again and again to communicate. This kind of button also appears in the QQ application. However, the most effective advertisement is passing from mouth to mouth. As Wechat functions extremely useful，users cannot wait to recommend it to their friends and families. Wechat spreads like viruses.
Human beings are always interested in new technologies. (Gunning, p43)Apartment from the basic features which a normal instant messaging application has, Wechat has some amazing new features. It allows users to send instant audio and video messages and send their current locations to the other users. Users can use the online Wakie talkie talking to a group of friends. ‘Moments’ allows users to post some words and photos or some links to a place which can be seen by all the followers, followers can make comments to the other’s posts (the same as Instagram). Drift bottle allows users to chat with anonymous friends. ‘People Nearby’ allows users to know some new friends nearby. ‘Shake’ allows users to chat with someone who is shaking their phones at the same time. Etc. Tencent Holdings Ltd is still developing new functions to bring convenience for Wechat users such as using Wechat to call cabs and online shopping. In my opinion, high sense of responsibility is the reason why Tencent Holdings Ltd make such a successful product.
Different group of people have different opinions and understandings towards Wechat. As many students use Wechat in class, most teachers consider Wechat is a harmful for students. For teenagers who are still in the embryo stage of love, Wechat is a tool for them to understand the opposite sex because it provides vast amount of opportunities for boys and girls to chat. In most parents’ view, Wechat is a tool for their children to build their relationship with others. And in my view, it is an application which connects people closely to the outside world.
Wechat is，without doubt, an amazing epochal product. However, I think it is undergoing huge pressure. As we learn from the Tom Gunning(p39), every new technology eventually becomes old. In order to endure all the pressures, I think Tencent Holdings Ltd should continuously bring new technologies into Wechat. As the CEO of Tencent Holdings Ltd said: no matter how strong you are in front of the mobile internet tide, a slightly mistake can make you capsize, so we should always respect the evolution of technology, cautiously perform all the duties and provide good service to users.
Tom Gunning P39
Tom Gunning P43