“It’s fun using We Chat,” said Wei Ziwei, a 23-year-old living in Chongqing, a city in China’s southwestern region.
“Being able to give a voice to your messages makes them so much more interesting.” Other rich features include an abundance of emoticons that can be sent when the right words just can’t be found (you can also make your own emoticons using photos you’ve taken yourself).
We Chat isn’t only a social network of messaging app; it is also a marketplace (“application for applications”) and a payment method.
It fills the role of Facebook, Whats App, Skype, Pay Pal, Slack or even My Taxi or Uber all at once.
As a result, Airbnb’s optimal launch time allowed it to fully capture the two busiest times of travel in China.Everybody who lives in China knows about and (probably) uses We Chat.Outside of China, it is almost completely off the radar, and with luck, is associated with the “Chinese version of Whats App.”Despite the image that many people have of China being “the country of cheap rip-offs,” We Chat is not just a bad rip-off; rather, it is an inspiration for Facebook and its Messenger or Snapchat.That’s less than those on the world’s most popular messaging app Whats App (900 million) and on Facebook Messenger (800 million).But those 650 million – and the number is growing rapidly – aren’t just telling each other what train they’re on, sharing photos of their breakfasts, flirting, or organising or conducting a meeting, though they do all of this too, of course. Users, in China at least, can order and pay for a taxi; donate to their favourite charity; send DIY postcards from whatever city they’re in; transfer money to a friend; find their nearest petrol station; check in for a flight; search a library catalogue for a book; shop; pay off a credit card; book a doctor’s appointment; follow the official accounts of celebrities ranging from Fan Bingbing to John Cusack; buy movie tickets; keep up with the Communist Party line via the People’s Daily (We Chat’s most heavily subscribed official account); check the points on their driver’s licence; top up their mobile accounts and find restaurant reviews, in some cases discovering how many people are queuing for tables before adding their names to the list.Airbnb began with a timed release of its “free nights” promotion specific to the theme of the festival.