Testing the messaging-app WeChat outside China is not easy.
This article shows my experiences with WeChat while I use it in the Netherlands.
What is WeChat?
WeChat (Wēixìn; literally: ‘micro-message’) is a Chinese multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile paymentapp developed by Tencent. In China it is known as Wēixìn (‘micro-message’).
It was first released in 2011, and became one of the world’s largest standalone mobile apps in 2018, with over 1 billion monthly active users.
That’s a lot of users and that’s why I am interested in this app. Why is it used that much? Ok, there are a lot of Chinese people, but is that the main reason?
Can I, as a non-Chinese, download it on my iPhone and use it in the Netherlands?
WeChat is freely available in the Apple App Store and can be downloaded from there on your iPhone.
Onboarding is very easy when you use the following steps
Here is the list of these steps:
- Register your account
- Add your friends
- Basic usage WeChat
The steps are pretty straightforward. Mind you, it is a Chinese app, don’t get discouraged by seeing Chinese characters.
My experiences with testing WeChat
I downloaded the WeChat 7.0.5 version on my iPhone 7 with software version 12.4.
Adding friends was not hard. You can look in your mobile contacts who use WeChat, and afterwards you can add them. You can also ask for help by chatting with the WeChat Team.
Group chatting is also a feature. And you can search and manage your contacts by using tags, which is handy when you have personal and business contacts like me.
An interesting feature for me to test is the WeChat Pay, which is the Chinese competitor of Alipay. It seems I have to do additional steps to enable this within WeChat. That’s for another time. There are more than enough other features to test.
One of these features, which could be of value is the Discover tab. With the Discover tab I have access to Moments, a QR code scanner, Shake, People Nearby and a Search-facility for moments, articles and official accounts. It seems you can also have access to WeChat Games, but I did not have this feature.
Let’s investigate the items of the Discover tab.
WeChat – Moments
Moments is the social feed of your friends updates. Here you can place photos or videos, including a cover photo. All photos can be retrieved from the iPhone photo album, or you can take a picture or video. With every photo/video you can add a remark, location (you get a list of nearby places), mention a WeChat comment or share it with your WeChat contacts. Because WeChat is a social app, you can also like or comment a photo.
Funny thing is, when opening your iPhone photo album, Chinese characters are shown in your photo titles.
WeChat – Scan
With the feature Scan you can scan a QR code and even align Chinese/English text and make a photo of this – the translate function.
Both features I tried and it works well, although I can not be sure the English text is translated in correct Chinese.
WeChat – Shake
When this feature is selected, just shake your phone. You will be connected to someone else in the world who is shaking his/her phone at the same time. Then you can choose to ignore or respond to this user.
I tried it and it works. Crazy feature, because you never know who is also shaking.
WeChat – Search
Regarding the Search-facility, this seems interesting, because the search results show a lot of Chinese characters. It is surely curated by WeChat. But that’s for another investigation, another article.
WeChat – People Nearby
With this feature you can browse and connect to WeChat users nearby. I have to dig in deeper to see what I can do with this.
This article showed you my first experience with testing WeChat.
WeChat is truly a multi-purpose messaging app and I will certainly test more of its features.
I only have to work on my Chinese characters, because there are a lot of them in this app. Or should I use the WeChat translate function?
Stay tuned for more TestingSaaS testing WeChat articles.