WeChat is already a very convenient application, easy and fun.
What is interesting is the strategy used by Tencent to expand abroad through a global product with local marketing campaigns.
Chinese users like to have fun. They are mostly younger than American or European users, this is one of the reasons. That’s why the app includes fun features like key words in chat conversation generating a special animation!
We can expect in 2013:
-User Base: reach 300 million users worldwide during Q1 2013
-New features for users: sound recognition, integration of other app, multimedia timeline (more than pictures including video), free calls…
–New features for brands already offering ads and opt-in marketing through official accounts ( providing messages with information and/or promotion for users)
-Increasing use of the app for Marketing campaigns
–Development of plugs-in, integration of other applications, bridges for data from other services
–Expansion of local marketing to new countries like Japan, Brazil, Qatar, and Egypt. The United States is not likely to be targeted by local marketing but through Chinese students in the USA.
–ePayments and eCommerce: 1D scan and image recognition could become accesses to mobile commerce through partners or not
We don’t know yet if Tencent will launch free calls. This strategy would be a revolution against China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom, and other international operators like Orange and AT&T. It should be considered to compete against Libon and also gain a competitive advantage against chat applications like Line, Kakao.
Consulting company VALUE 2020 believes the application has a great potential to become popular internationally.
Notice that the prediction we made about WeChat in June 2012 became reality: the user base exceeds now 200 million!