By Oliver Dzuba
Image credit: Jon Russel.
China’s ubiquitous and beloved software app Weixin/WeChat is beginning to firmly establish itself in the international market. Tech in Asia reports that there are now 50 million registered users outside of China.
Thanks to some Zuckerburg-esque additions, such as open platforms and newsfeed replications, WeChat has been able to expand its international presence rapidly. Tencent has proved especially successful in Mexico, Singapore, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
All of this is helping Tencent achieve impressive revenues this year. Last quarter the software developer posted $2.161 billion in revenue, an 11.5 percent increase from Q4 2012. These numbers show little sign of slowing down, as Tencent is seeking to expand the functionality of WeChat by including gaming services in the app.
The immensely popular social networking and messaging app now has over 400 million users. About 195 million of these users are active, which means WeChat is catching up fast to the 200 million active users of WhatsApp, a similar messaging app used primarily in North America.
The many features of WeChat have certainly made communication easier, but the software app has not been without its controversies. Last month, China’s telecommunication companies attempted to chastise WeChat for taking away text messaging revenue due to Tencent’s ability to provide a better service at zero cost. Also, it remains unclear who actually owns your WeChat data, so be careful of what you post.
Unfamiliar with WeChat? Check out this brief video by the Wall Street Journal which provides a brief overview and discusses the app’s future: