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By 24 July 2013 | Categories: news

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It was not so long ago that we sat down with WeChat South Africa’s MD, Brett Loubser, to hear about the Chinese-based company’s push into the South African market.

The latest from it is that in the last few weeks since the launch of its new global marketing campaign, WeChat had apparently enjoyed a 500% growth of user registrations.

This has apparently tripled the level of interaction on WeChat’s active user base. Loubser explained that the campaign, in part, features a television commercial with football superstar Lionel Messi. It shows how he connects to his family around the globe by using the application.

The sweet smell of success

Loubser added that since launching the campaign in South Africa, WeChat had achieved the number one position in the BlackBerry World and App Store as the most downloaded app in the country. Furthermore, WeChat had promoted the Messi commercial on YouTube, which resulted in it becoming both the most viewed video in South Africa as well as the most shared video as well.

"The success of this campaign in the short time it has been launched shows just how effective the advertising and television commercial have been. Given the extensive mobile footprint in South Africa, we are very excited by the potential that this application has in the market," he enthused.

For those who are still unfamiliar with it, or haven’t read our interview with Loubser yet and downloaded it for themselves, the free social messaging app enables users to send text messages to each other, swap voice messages with a ‘Hold to Talk’ feature, conduct video chats, and share images, music, and videos as well as rich emoticons.

In its favour, the application is available across most if not all mobile platforms, including Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Symbian, and Windows Phone operating systems. 

To the point

Granted, judging by our poll on which mobile instant messaging client readers turn to most often, WeChat still has some work to do wrestling users away from WhatsApp and BBM. However, a 500% growth in registrations in a few weeks is certainly a  decent start.

In our experience of the app though, we found it to be a pleasure to use and set up, boasting an array of features while still being accessible and user friendly. These two factors make us inclined to keep an eye on WeChat, and see where it goes, and how much it grows, next.  

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