How many chat app do you have on your smartphone?
Just when you thought you are comfortable with one, your friends tell you they found a better one and ask you to chat with them there. When you refuse to install those apps, your friends ask you why are you not on it.
Because of this, I have been using quite a few chat apps to talk with friends from different countries. I got iMessage, Whatsapp (seems to be the most popular one), Line (for chatting with friends based in Japan) and KaKaoTalk (for chatting with friends from Korea) and also sometimes, Facebook Messenger. On rarer occasions, I use the good old SMS or text message.
There you go, at least for me, seven different ways to chat with my friends using my mobile phone.
Just when I thought, that is about it, I got to know about this app call WeChat from my brother while I was testing out his Andriod phone. Out of curiousity, I downloaded it and found that to be an app developed by Tencent from China.
After adding some of my friends from China, and playing with it, I found this to be a very good app, even trumping some the chat apps developed by Western tech companies (those that I mentioned above).
For example, the user interface is quite intuitive and allows you to send either a text, photo or a voice message easily to friends. Integrated with it are some fun social elements not unlike Facebook called "Moments". You can post your photos onto your "Moments" space for friends to "Like" or comment on it. The good things is, only you and mutal friends from your account list can see those comments. In a certain sense, there are some privacy features inbuilt onto it.
You can also choose to chat with random people either around you using GPS or look up with people looking to chat immediately or later by shaking your phone or using the "drift a bottle" function. These are quite fun. Usually when I am at a cafe waiting for people to arrive, I would use this function to alleviate the boredom and chat with random strangers that is possibly in the same cafe!
Overall, I would say this is a good effort by a Chinese company and I can see more and more of them leaning away from blatant copying and adding their own design and features which makes the product better.
But! It is not immune to Chinglish too:
Look it up in iTunes or Google Play. Worth a download.