Following in the steps of other messaging apps that have branched out into voice calling services as well, China’s most popular messaging service WeChat now has a New Year’s gift for their users. WeChat Out is what they’re calling their new international telephone calling service. And while initially it will only be available in the US, Hong Kong, and India, it is expected to roll out in other countries later on. And they’re also giving out $0.99 in credit for the initial run, which they say can give you 100 minutes in calls.
WeChat Out is not to be confused with the voice and video calling options that are already available within the app. This service can actually be used to call both landline and mobile numbers that are not using the chat app. This is something similar to what its competitors like Skype, LINE, and Viber have been doing. They all offer the ability to make calls through the app but at a lower rate than what the carriers have been offering.
To access the service, click on the + icon on the top right of the main screen and you will see the WeChat Out button. You can either choose your contact or input the number on the keypad to make the call. If you’ve already used up the initial gift of $0.99, you can top up your balance through the various denominations. What they didn’t say is what the rates are for the various types of calls that you can make and for the various regions as well.
The battle between the messaging apps has now gone beyond just simple messaging. But almost every week, a new feature is being added by the various players in the market, in the hopes of getting customer loyalty or prying users away from their competitors. Let’s see if WeChat makes a breakthrough outside of its China market.
VIA: Tech Crunch