If you as a foreigner in your daily life walks around among Chinese, sit in a buss or the metro, you will notice that the Chinese dont use their mobile phones less than in other countries.
Some are obviously playing games or watching tv shows or movies, others sit and write text messages, where? Its definitely not on facebook, so as foreigner one obviously wonder – what are these apps the chinese are using?
The probably number 1 mobile app in China is weixin, a sort of chat program where you can send messages to your friends through mobile use of internet and thereby saving money compared to sending regular short messages. When I first used weixin I thought – oh, its just another chat program. And I noticed it had this button one can click and then record a voice message and send it. Funny, was my first impression, I didnt see much usage of it until one day I was going to meet my friend for dinner, and instead of writing a message (tirring on a mobile) and instead of calling, I send her a voice message in a few seconds – I have arrived, come down.
Whats the difference from just calling? Well if my friend was on the toilet while I called she might not pick up, but she will see the weixin voice message imediately she look at her phone.
Many chinese use it to talk with friends without the cost of a phonecall. It is like a chat, where one dont need reply imediately, but with voice instead of text.
You dont see the voice or video feature used much in public though.
Another upcoming and increasingly popular app is momo, also a chat program, the difference between momo and weixin is, when you open momo and see a list of people, the people you see are all people physically close to you. That means when I am home I might see some of my neighbourghs, if im waiting at a metrostation I see other people closeby, on the chat program. So while weixin is a chat app for maintaining relationships, momo is one for creating new ones.
Both momo and weixin is Chinese developed programs, weixin has an english version, so try it out. Momo doesnt, so if you dont read chinese get a chinese friend to help you set it up.