Although WeChat may seem like just another addition to the already filled up list of instant messaging apps on the web, interestingly enough, it's still one of the most popular IM apps around and has already reached a number of users on Android and iOS.
The app was recently updated to version 5.2.1. and brings in a number of new features that look to be more customer oriented than all other else in the market. The latest version of the app is just out for the iOS and Android devices and for Windows Phone devices, the company said that it would be released soon.
Recently, Mr. Nilay Arora, Vice President, WeChat, was in an interview with GizBot, where he revealed about his plans and ambitions regarding how the IM service will look to climb above all else in the market.
Reflecting on the journey leading up to the popularity of the service, Mr. Arora stated that when the app went live back in May 2013, the company looked to a number of different ways for promoting the app.
At that point of time, Mr. Arora also revealed that the company has achieved a couple of milestones in this time frame: Being the second most downloaded app on iOS in 2013 in India and crossing 100m downloads outside china.
When asked specifically about the new 5.2.1 update, Mr. Arora stated: "With 5.2.1 version that we recently launched for WeChat in india what we have introduced are four very interesting features for our users which we believe will enhance their experience of communication on their smartphones."
The first feature is called as Friends Radar feature and what is does is it scans the friends who are on WeChat in a very close proximity. So if you are at a meeting or a party, "it scans all users in the periphery onto the platform and you can add friends by just clicking on the list of friends," that will appear on the screen.
Apart from that, there's also Real time Location that will allow users to share real time locations in live enviornment, and even track the movement of the concerned person on the map.
Also, there's the Universal Search which shows content or friends or even groups under the same banner. There's also Favorite Messages where users will be treated to 1GB of free cloud space with more importance given to content pieces. Users just need to long press on any message and it will get stored in the allotted cloud space.
However, the most importance piece of news that was revealed during the interview was a little insight into the next big update for the app. As revealed, WeChat's next update Version 5.3 will be coming in mid May 2014 which and will also bring over add-ons to Friend Radar feature. But more information is pending for the time being.
WeChat is currently one of the most popular social messaging apps globally and in India. The app boasts over 355 million monthly active users globally and over 100 million downloads on Google Play internationally.