You might have learned a bit about WeChat from my previous blog posts, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are certain features on WeChat that turn users into addicts. Apart from voice messages, voice chat, video chat, group chat, and web WeChat, there are 8 secret features on WeChat that business owners will find useful.
1. Mention @someone
When you are chatting in a group on Skype or WhatsApp and you want to mention someone specific in the group, what would you do to notify that person you are referring to? Nothing, because you actually can’t do that in those apps! Basically, your messages to that specific person will be drowned by other group members’ messages. But on WeChat, if you want to mention someone in the group, you simply type @ plus the name of the person you want to notify. For example: @Celine (Celine will be notified). Easy as that!
2. QR Code = Business card
Are you still using traditional business cards? Have you ever discarded someone’s business cards as soon as you walk out the door? What if you meet someone really interesting at a business event, but you forget to bring your business cards? No worries, all you need to do is show your unique QR Code to other people and they can scan it to add you to their contacts in seconds.
3. Search for people nearby
This could be the best (and worst) WeChat feature depending on how you use it. WeChat enables people to search for other WeChat users located within 100m-20km. If you find someone at an event that you really want to connect with but you don’t get a chance to talk to them, you can search for people nearby and you should be able to find them if they are on WeChat.
However, be careful when using this feature. There are a lot of weirdos out there!
4. Share to Twitter, Facebook, and Email
Your friend shares a funny article or interesting news with you and you want to share it to Twitter, Facebook, or email someone else? You just need to press and hold the file and choose from different options.
5. Share location
Have you ever been in this situation? You and your friend or colleague arrange to meet somewhere like a mall. You arrive first, but your friend is struggling to find your exact location in such a large space. In WeChat, you can simply share your real-time location with your contact so they can see exactly where you are.
6. Record short videos
WeChat has a brand new feature that allows you to take 15-20 second mini-videos you can share on WeChat, Facebook, and/or Twitter instantly. From a business perspective, you can use these mini-videos to show off your products in an interactive way. Or, you can create short videos for sharing fun or engaging content.
7. Multi-language animations
WeChat has built-in animations that react to specific messages people commonly type. For example, if you type in ‘miss you’ in any language and press send, you will see stars falling. Type in ‘xoxo’ and you will see kisses rain. Wish someone ‘Happy Birthday’ and watch birthday cakes rain from the sky. There are also fun seasonal animations during the holidays like New Year’s and Christmas. Wondering how to use this for business? If you offer a special promotion for the holidays, you could type in holiday greetings and watch the holiday spirit rain from the sky!
8. Lucky money
Saving the best for last! This has to be China’s favorite feature! The whole idea came from the Chinese tradition of red envelopes. We give out red envelopes as gifts at every possible occasion (New Year’s, birthdays, graduations, weddings, new jobs, and even when someone’s in the hospital). WeChat understands our culture and incorporates this custom into the app. Instead of simply transferring money to your friends, you can send them lucky money. Sometimes I’ll send out lucky money to a group as a fun promotion or to keep the group active. People have to fight to get random amounts of money and everyone gets different amounts – pure luck and great fun!
What is your favorite WeChat feature? Share with us in the comments below!
Matt Clark is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Amazing.com, a serial entrepreneur, and investor. He’s been featured on Forbes, CNBC, and Entrepreneur.com.