WeChat maker Tencent is extending the capabilities of its popular messaging app and will now allow its users to call their friends around the world, on their mobile or landline. The new feature – termed WeChat Out – is essentially similar to what Skype and Viber have offered for a while now, but to entice users (or as a “New Year gift” as they say) the company is handing out $0.99 (approximately Rs. 66) of free credit.
According to the Chinese behemoth, this should provide about 100 minutes of international calling although that depends on who you’re trying to reach. For now, the new call option is limited to India, Hong Kong, and the US and Tencent is promising “more countries and regions in the near future”.
Since launch in 2011, WeChat has reportedly grown to an active user base of 600 million, which is double of Skype’s and over nearly six times Viber’s. It trails Facebook-owned WhatsApp which now boasts of 900 million monthly active users, although WhatsApp is yet to allow its users to call people who haven’t installed the app.
If you don’t see the ‘WeChat Out’ button on your phone just yet, you might want to head to the respective app store – Apple App Store or Google Play Store – and see if there’s an update available.
What do you make of the new WeChat feature? Is it a worthy addition to consider jumping ship? If you’ve been a loyal WeChat user, what do you think is missing? Tweet to us @Gadgets_360 with #WeChatOut or let us know your thoughts in the comments below.