*This is a sponsored post for WeChat Malaysia*
WeChat, The new way to connect, is a cross-platform mobile messaging app from Tencent (in China). It’s a free app that’s available for iOS, Android, BlackBerry 10, Windows Phone 8, Nokia (S40 and Symbian) and Web app. Not only can you send chat messages via mobile data or WiFi, WeChat also allows you to do Group Chats, Video Calls, Share photos and videos, Voice Chats, Chat Backup, Web Chat, Stickers, QR Codes and more.
WeChat has been a strong service in their home country in China, but over the years expanded its reach to become a major player in the international markets, with over 100 million registered users globally. In fact, the app is pre-installed in my HTC One! The mobile messaging app space are crowded by the likes of WhatsApp, Line, Kakao Talk, ChatON (by Samsung), even the social media networks like Facebook Messenger, Google+ Hangout. WeChat is growing strong and introducing more features, updates and growing the service beyond being a mobile messenger.
Last Thursday, on 9 Jan 2014, WeChat Malaysia kicked off the new year announcing the availability of WeChat version 5.1 of their app on iOS and Android that comes with a number of new features; as well as the announcement of the availability of WeChat Games.
20 lifestyle and tech bloggers were invited to the event, where it was a casual affair over dinner, where WeChat Malaysia team got to know the bloggers, showcase the new feature launch and give away some prizes for WeChat Games blogger challenges.
WeChat 5.1 for iOS and Android
WeChat informed us that they’ve listened to their users for these improvements in the new version 5.1 app, which includes:-
- Group Chat with up to 100 friends – The past Group Chat capacity was 40 members. Now it’s a whopping 100 people in ONE Group Chat! Whoa…
- More NEW Animated Stickers – You can now preview free or paid stickers before purchasing / downloading. Yes, they’re ANIMATED, available from the WeChat Sticker Shop.
- View Message drafts – Previously draft messages were not available, now you can type your message,s ave it in draft for sending at a later time.
- New game : Pencil Pilot – Available for Android users only, there’s already a pre-installed game in the new version
- StoryCam for WeChat – Describe the “What”, “Where” and “When” with add-on info in your pictures. Then add filters, watermarks, realtime location/weather/date and share with your WeChat friends, on Moments or via email.
- And many more…
- Edit ‘Favorite Messages’ – Save your “Favorite Messages” (first cloud based mobile messaging storage) and edit/ add new content anytime.
- Register with Email Address – Register with your email address to start chatting with more friends.
- Gmail Contact Integration – Link to your Google account to add more friends to your WeChat list.
- Supports Latest Smartphone iOS Platforms – Optimized to support the latest versions on both iOS and Android.
Download (or update) the new WeChat 5.1 for Android (Google Play Store LINK) or iOS (Apple App Store LINK) now.
Alongside the new version 5.1 app, there’s also the availability of WeChat Games launched with 3 games available today:-
- GunZ Dash – Choose your favorite hero and embark on an exciting adventure in a fantasy universe. Speed through worlds and collect coins for a high score in this thrilling 2D animated, endless running game!
- 2Day’s Match – A brand new casual puzzle game. Match two tiles of the same kind to clear them! Challenge yourself and win your Crown!
- Craz3 Match – An easy-to-play but addictive game! Line up animals of the same kind for spectacular effects and move on to the next level!
- Wreckless Racer (coming soon) – Gear up and kick start your engines with Wreckless Racer, a new speed racing game with cutting-edge graphics and heart-pounding actions for the ultimate thrill to the finishing line!
Simply go to the “Discover” tab on your WeChat app, click on “Games” and browse the available games launches with the new WeChat Games. Clicking on the preferred game will launch the app store to download the game.
During the event, all the bloggers in attendance were invited to play the games in a friendly challenge. Yours truly tried the GunZ Dash game (which I played for the first time) and pretty much ended with the lowest score of the night. 😐
Throughout the night, we got to see each other play all 3 of the games. The one that really caught my eye (read : easier to get high score *wink*) is Craz3 Match.
Craz3 Match is a game almost like Bejeweled where you match 3 of the same characters in a row to eliminate them within the 60 seconds timeframe.
WeChat Malaysia mentioned that there’ll be more games coming soon, which includes a racing game, called Wreckless Racer.
Remember – these are social games. Not only can you play on your own, you can challenge your friends on WeChat for high scores.
The kind folks of WeChat Malaysia had some prizes to give away that night – for high scores in the WeChat Games and for answering some of the questions based on the presentation on the new features launched that day.
And I got the question on the 3 available games launched with WeChat Games correct and got myself a limited edition, all the way from China, WeChat branded headphones. Housed in a fancy, velvet box, I might add…
Woo Hoo! Thanks so much, WeChat Malaysia!!!
At the end of the night, after a great dinner courtesy of Blu Med Ristorante e Bar at The Boulevard Midvallley, we all got together along the green and white balloons (WeChat colors, y’know) and posed for a group picture!
Yes, that’s me posed at the back, right underneath the down light which completely over-expose and wash out my face. 😛