Seek for people nearby to chat using WeChat!

WeChat Logo

I believe most of you already been heard about what is WeChat.
Like a lot other smartphone social apps, WeChat is also another social networking app where rich with features.

Zouk

WeChat had recently hosted an event in Malaysia, at Zouk. The picture above is the group photo that day. But anyway, I will write more about this app detail and its features. And also, if you want to follow up with WeChat’s update, you can actually “Like” their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/wechatmalaysia so that you can get prompted with their latest updates.

WeChat is an app developed by a China company called TenCent Inc.(Not 50Cent, coz a company don’t sing).
This app was launched at January 2011 with the name “Weixin”, and had recently re-branded as WeChat in April 2012.
And for your information, Tencent Inc. is the company who developed the QQ instant messenger.

It support several smartphones, such as iPhone, Android phones, Nokia Symbian 60 phones, as well as Windows smartphones.

Ok, now I would like to talk more into its features.
Like every other smartphone users who uses their smartphone for social networking, I too have used tons of apps in my smartphone to communicate with people around me. Each of these apps have its own special features. And of course, WeChat do have some if its special features as well. Anyway, I am going to talk about most of its features, no matter it is their exclusive features or not, as I find them quite interesting to use.

WeChat Splash Screen
WeChat Splash Screen

WeChat App Info
WeChat App Info

1. Authentication:

WeChat Authentication

WeChat support normal authentication by using your WeChat ID/phone number, as well as using Facebook Connect to link your Facebook to your WeChat account and using it to directly login into your WeChat account.
So far, not every smartphone chat apps support Facebook connect authentication, and this, makes WeChat a more convenient app to use, since you only need to remember your Facebook login, if you are using the Facebook Connect to login into it.

2. Search Contacts/Social:

WeChat Search Contacts

As you can see, it does have similar way to search for contacts using the similar way as another app called LINE. But it does have another way to search for people, where LINE do not have.
Here is what these contacts search option which is listed in the picture at above:
a) Moments:
Moments
This is actually a feature similar with Instagram, except that it is only within the WeChat network only and it does not provide the feature for you to edit your picture to blur it up etc. In “Moments”, you can upload a picture inside your phone, or take a photo instantly and upload it to WeChat with a caption. Then when people who had added you saw it, they can post comments to the picture you uploaded

b) Add a Friend:
Inside Add a Friend
b1) Add by ID: Add a contact manually using their WeChat ID if you know their WeChat ID.
b2) Mobile Contacts: This will scan your contacts inside your phone book, and it will show you which of your contacts in your phone book is using WeChat, then gives you the option whether you want to add them or not.
b3) Facebook Friends: If you had linked your Facebook to your WeChat, it will scan your Facebook’s friend and see which of them are using WeChat and have Facebook linked to their WeChat account, and it will list up and show you the option to add then as your contact.
b4) QR Code: Use this to scan a QR code generated by your friend’s WeChat and add them directly by scanning it.

c) Look Around:
Look AroundLook Around 2Look Around 3Look Around 4
Look Around is actually a feature where it uses your GPS to locate your current position, and it will search around for other WeChat users nearby you and list them up for you to add them as your contact. And in the list, it will show you estimate how far is them from your current position. It will only work if you have enabled your GPS. If you disabled your GPS, it will prompt you to enable your GPS before trying to use this feature again.
By the way, you can also filter whether to search only males or females in the search result, like the picture as below.
Gender Filter


d) Drift Bottle:
Drift BottleDrift Bottle 2Drift Bottle 3Drift Bottle 4
This feature, is quite a unique feature of WeChat compare to the rest of the social networking apps. Sometimes, you see people write some notes, then stuff it into a bottle and throw it into the sea and let it drift around. This feature allow you to do it in the WeChat sea. And the bottles are able to be pick up by people easily! So try to not write something too personal into the note that you going to stuff it into the bottle. And remember, once you throw away the bottle, there is no way you can delete it, unless you are lucky enough to pick up your own bottle back!
When you opened a bottle that you picked up, you can either throw it back into the sea, reply to the owner of the note, or you can collect them, it is up to you. Usually I will throw it back into the sea.

e) Shake:
Shake
This feature is a feature that also available in LINE, where you and your friend enter into this mode, then you both shake your phone to add each other into contact list. And if not mistaken, GPS is required to be activated when you are using this feature.

f) Scan QR Code: This one is the same as the “QR Code” features in “Add a Friend”. It is just a shortcut to that only.
Since the QR Code scanning function was mentioned twice, then I think it is best to talk about it as well.
You can actually generate your WeChat QR Code for people to add you directly to their WeChat contact list, and you do not need additional apps to generate it. Just go to “Settings” and click the “Profile” to generate it just like the picture as below, then you can save it into your memory card and upload to your blog or anywhere you want for people to add you into their contact list easily.
ProfileQR Code

3. Chats:

WeChat Chat

There are several interesting features where you can use while chatting with your friends.

a) Text Messaging:
Txt Msg
This is something very standard for all social networking apps.

b) Voice Messaging:
Voice MessagingVoice Messaging 2
Other apps such as Whatsapp or LINE do have this feature as well, but I found that the audio file compression of WeChat is better, because when I send out the voice message, it uploaded very fast, compare to other apps.

c) Group Chat:
Group Chat
Some other standard features which have in most social networking apps.
As you can see from the picture, you just need to press the “+” icon to add someone else in your contact list to add them into the current chat.

d) Chat Plugins:
Chat PluginsChat Plugins Settings
WeChat also have features where most of those social networking apps have, which is emoticon, send images, video and so on. It also have what Whatsapp have, which is sending your GPS coordinate to your friend via WeChat. Besides that, you can also suggest another friend to the current friend who is chatting with you, as long as they are inside your contact list.
The 2nd picture at above is the screenshot inside “Settings” where you can enable or disable these plugins.


Pros And Cons (Review Summary)
Pros:
1. Rich with features, compare to other chat apps.
2. Able to search people nearby you, and chat with them before you meet them at somewhere near you.
3. Can pick up some unpredictable bottles via the “Drift Bottles” and read something really funny by some dumb people.
4. Can send voice message instead of typing text, while you are driving.
5. Able to send out your GPS coordinate to your friend and ask them to come and rescue you, if you are in trouble. (Just like what you can watch on the TV).
6. Have the option to let your contacts see only your WeChat ID only, not display your phone number. Or you can enable it to show your phone number to your contacts.
7. Can disable some of the features by disabling the plugins to reduce usage of your phone’s memory.
8. Available in most smartphones, enabling people who uses different brand of smartphones to be connected via WeChat.

Cons:
1. Very huge size installer, might be not suitable for low end smartphones which have very limited storing space.
2. Memory usage is quite high. Works well in high end smart phones, such as Galaxy S2, S3, HTC One, Motorola Razr, Atrix etc. But low end smartphones will become very laggy after running it for sometime without closing it.
3. Not much users in Malaysia is using it, but can find a lot people from China in it. But currently Malaysian users are growing rapidly, so this is not a big problem so far.
4. Constantly re-run itself in the background. Even after you have exit this app, or kill the process with task killer apps, it will still start it up back again after some time. This is also an issue for most apps we have nowadays, such as Facebook.
5. Unable to use “Fake GPS” to cheat your current location. It will still directly access to your GPS chip for retrieving your real position. Well, this can be a pros as well, as we can make sure people that we are chatting with, are really at where they are now.

So, if you are interested to install it into your smart phone and try it out, just search for it in your phone’s apps installer to install it, or you can install it via the links I provide at below.

Apple App StoreAndroid Google PlayNokia OVIWindows Phone

For Nokia Phones:
Symbian S60V3 Phones (With Keyboard)
Symbian S60V5 Phones (Touchscreen)

Disclaimer: The images I posted in this article is from my Android phone only. It might looks different in other smartphones, so if you see it looks different, don’t worry, it is still WeChat, with a different user interface only.

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Seek for people nearby to chat using WeChat! by Garfield is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

  • wow that’s a nice app

    regardless of the privacy issues, I must say that the program itself is a great onebut is just for Asia right? or this work here in America too?it’s funny but I would install this app on my girlfriend smart phone just for to know always where she are :)Mr.Butcher

    • Yeah, the app it self is pretty good.
      But I’m not sure you can find anyone else to chat with you in US or not.
      🙂

  • LOKESH

    I want to know that could i change the city again in the look around because I am unable to find any these kind of option where i can change the city again for find my friendsssss..

    • from what I know, it will change itself when it detect ur GPS coordinate

  • cookies

    hi i just wanna ask. i registered. it says here that i should enter my number so i entered it and i recieved a verification code. but when i look at wechat it didn’t go to the page where i should put the verification code. it skipped to the password page but im not yet making a password and a wechat ID. so how do you register if thats the case? d

    • so it did not allow u to login?
      if it allow u to login, then u may reset ur password in the app

  • Ch Ali Arain

    i have a problum
    i cant send greetings to any one plz help me also in shake and loction

  • Ch Ali Arain

    when i find some one in shake or nearby but i cant send any greetings to them its shows that greeting cant send this time try again

    • Try to kill the app and restart the app.
      Unless the user had already blocked u, or else, u should be able to send the greetings to them

  • suresh

    i wnt to know how to sign up in we chat……after providing the my
    mobile number it asking verification code but i cant getting the
    code….then how i acess the we chat..kindly do the needful..

  • Muhamed Nihal Smackerzz

    hey guys and girls plse add me on we chat my id:nudeboys

  • Muhamed Nihal Smackerzz

    plse add me for cool and niceee realition ship id :nudeboys

  • akashsingh

    aad me . akash-rck

  • invadersmustdie

    If you are a BlackBerry user don’t install it. It keeps fucking with some system files and evrydnight after some point it makes my phone re start again. N again..it also made around 2-3 thousand folders on my memory card..(I’m using bold 9900)

    • well, in Android, it suck the resource a lot.
      The more they update the app, the more heavy is the app.
      Now my phone is damn laggy, as I am using a very old phone.
      Anyway, perhaps it is more suitable to be use in those expensive phones….
      🙁

  • maddy

    excellent app. But boys in lookaroud need to change their gender… Every time I look around there are so many male with gender slected female… Its really irritating

    • Warning! Some girls found in social network, looks like girl, talk like girl. But Male at the bottom & inside!
      LOL

  • marcbcn

    its couple weeks suddenly i have problem about cant add or receive greetings by id , i see if people add me by phone works….but people nearby seems works by id , so its many time never receive greeting and i cant send even if says sent succesfully , people never receive….
    pls some way to solve this? i reinstalled wechat in my iphone5 but keep problem suddenly from nothing

  • punk zenith pankaj

    pankaj agarwal…..

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  • Luvy

    Hi. I just wanna ask something, I uploaded photos and then suddenly those photos got blurred. I’m using WeChat for almost 2 months, this is the first time that it happened. How can I fix this? Thanks.