300 Million People Use WeChat To Text With Strangers, But Most Americans Probably Haven't Heard Of It | Business Insider India

300 Million People Use WeChat To Text With Strangers, But Most Americans Probably Haven't Heard Of It

WeChat Demo With Lionel Messi

Google Play Store

Soccer star Lionel Messi is a paid spokesperson for WeChat.

WeChat is a multi-purpose messaging app made by Chinese Internet portal company Tencent.

The app's popularity is soaring overseas. WeChat launched in October 2010 and had about 5 million users by May 2011. By January 2013, it had exploded to 300 million users, according to Tech In Asia.

The app has a startling array of features. Users can make video calls and hold live chats with friends, host group chats, scan for strangers to talk to nearby, and so much more. Rumors have been circulating that the app could gain a new shopping feature in the future too, which could be a huge potential revenue generator for Tencent.

All of the elements of WeChat are free, which is why it and other free texting apps like WhatsApp and Line have been exploding in popularity overseas where free texting is almost nonexistent. The apps aren't nearly as popular in the U.S., where most carriers offer all-you-can-eat free texting plans.

You can download WeChat for free on iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry.

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