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WeChat leans on Lionel Messi as it goes global

By now, you’re probably well aware of the hype around WeChat, the social instant messaging service from Chinese internet giant Tencent.

What started out as a service exclusive to China in early 2012, has grown to become an international phenomenon. Of its 400-million or so registered users, 70-million come from outside China. Its 190-million active users meanwhile mean it’s well on its way to passing Whatsapp in terms of global popularity.

Those numbers, particularly the international ones, could potentially get a serious boost after the company signed up Argentinian football legend Lionel Messi for its latest campaign.

WeChat ambassadorship apparently means a bit more than just appearing on a TV commercial though. If you’re keen on getting videos, voice messages and photos from Messi, you can — by downloading WeChat and adding his official account ID: MessiOfficial.

WeChat is free and offers features including “Hold to Talk” (something which Chinese Telcos aren’t too pleased about), video chat, as well as image, video and music sharing. You can also choose to communicate one-on-one, or within closed social networks through the “Moments” feature.

While WeChat is the social messaging app everyone’s talking about, it’s worth bearing in mind that it’s not just competing against Whatsapp for people’s attention, but also with Asian apps such NHN Japan’s Line and Korean-made KakaoTalk which have 120-million and over 70-million worldwide users respectively.

Author | Stuart Thomas

Stuart Thomas
Stuart Thomas joined the Burn Media team in 2011 while finishing off an MA in South African Literature. Eager to prove his geek credentials, he allowed himself to be thrown in the deep and did his best to stay afloat. When not fused with his keyboard, you can find... More