When I first got a mobile phone, playing the game snake and sending SMS were the most revolutionary things you could do. The world of mobile has come a long way since then! With the rocket propelled rise of smart-phones, the way people communicate has evolved too.  Since smart-phone’s and data plans are becoming cheaper and more accessible, messaging apps has grown too.

Rather than send a SMS, people are now embracing free services such as iPhone’s iMessage and Facetime, voice message like Talkbox, instant messaging like QQ IM and MSN, micro-blogs such as Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo, cross platform systems like Tencent Weixin or Kik. Plus, why wouldn’t you? If you pay for internet data anyway or can access WIFI, you might as well take advantage of free messaging services.

Tencent Weixin is predicted to be very dominant this year because it integrates so many features.  You can message friends for free, group chat for free, send voice messages for free, send emoticons, sync your QQ and phone book contacts and also find people around you via the location based service. You can even scan QR codes. Since there are now over 530 million registered QQ users, Weixin could crush many other players that try to enter this space.

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Jason Lim

Jason is an Australian born Chinese living in Beijing, specializing in entrepreneurship, start-ups and the investment eco-system in China, especially in the tech and social area.