Who knows about WeChat and why isn't it popular in the West?
They're absolutely dominating in China. Came out with an Enterprise solution yesterday...
Population plays a big role in this.
Just looking at http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/popu... will show you just how little they need to bother about marketing to us. The "Western World" isn't always the best market place and the numbers show that.
WeChat has just under 700 million users, Facebook messenger has around 900 million, QQ has around 900 million and WhatsApp has over a Billion. So to answer your question, Wechat simply isn't useful to people in the west because not enough westerners use it. For those who communicate with people in China they most likely use QQ or Facebook.
The same question could be asked about Line. For those in Japan, Thailand, Indonesia and India would ask why don't more people in the west use Line. However Line only has around 250 million users and the bulk are in the above mentioned countries. However to them, Line is the biggest IM app. TV ads based on Line stickers, Products with Line codes etc, yet outside of those countries Line is very uncommon.
Jef Lippiatt ,
Owner at Startup Chucktown
Great question. I've definitely heard of WeChat but don't use it myself. I would say there are many similar apps here in the United States that are constantly competing (or trying to steal) users back and forth between the existing platforms.
For example the younger teenagers use SnapChat (a lot!) even though it isn't really an app made specifically for chatting. Also, there are geo-fenced (chat apps based on current physical location) such as YikYak and Kik.
Then of course there is the behemoth (aka Facebook Messenger) they (being Facebook) are trying to dominate the entire social space by walling users into their app ecosystem (Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, What's App, Oculus VR, Move and several others)
What's app is also a chat competitor but I lumped it into mentioning Facebook since they bought it awhile back.
I believe those are all competitors that impact adoption of other chat apps. Those are just the direct competitors. There of course are SMS (text messages) , video chatting (Skype, FaceTime, etc.). Then of course just straight up "old-school" calling someone.
The other indirect factors that jump to mind are limited storage space on the smartphone (meaning each app you have takes up hard-drive space). Also too many apps fracture your time so you may have 4 chatting apps on your phone but you may only really use 1 or 2.
I hope that helps.