Know About WeChat, the Most Popular Social Media Platform among Chinese Canadians

Know About WeChat, the Most Popular Social Media Platform among Chinese Canadians

The latest release from Statistics Canada shows that Chinese Mandarin has become the 3rd most spoken language in Canada, following English and French. Right next to it is Cantonese, a language widely spoken among people from Hong Kong and Southern China. It suggests that the immigrants from Chinese mainland have been growing fast in recent years. The significant structural change in population has been changing the marketing and sales games to this ethnic group.  One of these changes is the social media marketing, which is key to marketers when planning your digital strategies. The language preference as well as the deep rooted connections to China makes WeChat, the most popular social media platform in China, exceeding Facebook and other popular media platforms to become the most popular social media platform among this ethnic group, though many other Canadians may know little about it.

Below is a quick view on WeChat to help grasp the main functions of this platform. Later, we will have series articles to introduce how to use this platform for marketing and sales.

When going to an apps store and download WeChat app, you will see a description like this. “WeChat is a messaging and calling app that allows you to easily connect with family & friends across countries. It’s the all-in-one communications app for text (SMS/MMS), voice and video calls, Moments, photo sharing, and games.”

Actually, it has gone far beyond a messaging and calling app.

When it’s launched in 2011, many criticized it as a copy of Whatsapp. But today, no one would say that. Even Whatsapp looks to learn something from it. It has rolled in almost all functions of Whatsapp, Instagram, and Facebook. Moreover, it has integrated payment service and enabled e-commerce function for its users. As an expandable platform, it allows developers to add on mini-apps so that users can enjoy much more in-app fun. Those mini-apps are as diversifying as those in Apple Store, varying from games to health to businesses and more.

Below is the official description of why users should use this application you can find in an Apps Store.
• MULTIMEDIA MESSAGING: Send video, image, text, and voice messages.
• GROUP CHAT & CALLS: Create group chats with up to 500 people and group video calls up to 9 people.
• FREE VOICE & VIDEO CALLS: High-quality free calls to anywhere in the world.
•WECHAT OUT CALLS: Make calls to landlines and mobile around the globe at low rates (in certain regions only).
• STICKER GALLERY: Hundreds of free, fun, animated stickers to express your feelings from some of your favorite cartoons and movies.
• MOMENTS: Share your best moments on your personal photo stream.
• BETTER PRIVACY: WeChat gives you the highest level of control over your privacy. It’s the only messaging app to be certified by TRUSTe.
• MEET NEW FRIENDS: Use “Friend Radar”, “People Nearby” and “Shake” to meet others.
• REALTIME LOCATION: Instead of having to tell others where you are, just use real-time location sharing.
• LANGUAGE SUPPORT: Localized in 20 different languages and can translate messages to any language.
•WeRun-WeChat: Access HealthKit data and challenge friends to beat their scores via the “WeRun-WeChat” Official Account.
• AND MORE: Desktop app, custom wallpapers, custom notifications, and Official Accounts.

Official Accounts are the main tools to present a business or an organization to WeChat Users besides advertising. There are two types of Official Accounts available for businesses and organizations outside mainland China.

Subscription accounts: provide a new information propagation means for media and individuals to build up better communication and management with readers.

Service accounts: provide more powerful business service and user management capabilities for enterprises and organizations, to help enterprises quickly implement a brand-new official account service platform.

Currently, the international accounts cannot reach WeChat users registered in mainland China. However, Tencent allows international businesses and organizations to use agencies in China to register official accounts which can reach all WeChat users without the restriction on the location.

In my next post, I will explain more on the differences between these two type official accounts. Stay tuned!


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