WeChat, a chat service developed by Tencent, is gaining ground fast and reached 355 million monthly users as of the end of last year.
This development was made clear when Tencent released its earnings report, which The Next Web spotted. The figure of 355 million was up no less than 120 per cent compared to the end of 2012.
As you may be aware, WhatsApp is the most popular messaging service in the world with 450 million active users (popular enough that Facebook recently snapped it up for a whopping $19 billion – £11.4 billion).
Tencent is based in China, and there’s no question that it dominates its home turf – but the company didn’t clarify where its users were drawn from geographically, so it’s impossible to say how successful WeChat is outside of China based on these figures.
However, it’s no small fry in global terms, as The Next Web notes that it doubled its international user base to 100 million users inside three months over the summer of 2013.
Further international marketing efforts are planned, so don’t be surprised if you hear more about WeChat in the future.
WeChat offers all the usual voice chat, group chat and video calls options, along with some interesting little extras like a “message in a bottle” you can throw out to the world at large, and see who replies. (If you hear back from Sting, tell him we’re sorry to hear about his broken nose).