WhatsApp and WeChat have become two of the world’s most used communication tools and show no sign of loosening their grip on our attention. They serve different markets with WhatsApp being the tool of choice for much of Europe and WeChat being the major messaging player in China. Whilst WeChat is two years younger than WhatsApp and has 1 billion compared to 1.5 billion users, its innovated faster is the real advantage over the competitor. Below, we’ve listed 5 of the instant messaging features WhatsApp has had to play catch up on.
- Voice and video call
WeChat launched: 2012 - WhatsApp launched: 2015. Voice and video calling has quickly moved online as 3 and 4g signal has become more reliable and affordable. Not only can we now see and speak with our contacts and loved ones, but we can do so reliably across borders without heavy fees from our network providers.
- Voice notes
WeChat launched: 2011 - WhatsApp: 2015. Whilst it has taken some getting used to, voice noting is becoming increasingly popular around the world. Some people find the act of speaking short messages into a phone socially awkward, but it’s more time efficient and can help us convey our emotions better than text.
- Business Accounts
WeChat launched: 2012 - WhatsApp (beta): 2017. WeChat opened to businesses in 2012 and has set the bar high for helping brands to engage and serve their customer base. From payments to content, customer service to 3d experiences, the WeChat official account has a become the digital destination for individuals wanting a strong brand experience in China. WhatsApp has only recently publicised its trial into branded accounts and acknowledges the need to take great care over user experience when integrating brands into the app.
- Message Recall
WeChat launched: 2014 - Whatsapp (beta): 2017. Ever miss typed and said something awkward or embarrassing in a chat? If you have you’re not alone. Both have decided that users should be allowed at least a short period of consideration to decide if that message was a good idea, correctly written or to the right person. Therefore, both apps now allow senders to delete, or recall messages if needed.
- Live Location Sharing
WeChat launched: 2014 - Whatsapp: 2017. Location sharing has been warmly welcomed by users. Using GPS and maps these tools have been integrated to help us streamline our plans and make geography less of a challenge.