Weixin, already the world’s biggest group messaging app, has thus doubled its userbase since last December, when it passed the 50 million milestone . From that rate of progress, it appears to be picking up new fans at the rate of about 3.5 million a week. Since Tencent’s newest success is one of the rare Chinese social media to go global, having recently added support for signing up using your phone number in dozens of countries, it’s not clear how many of the 100 million users are based in China.
Pony Ma’s message on his Tencent Weibo page (pictured above), posted at 4am today Beijing time, says simply, “Finally, past a hundred million.” It has already been retweeted over 1,800 times. He might be referring to downloads of the app, but in the past Tencent has only celebrated user milestones on Weixin, so hopefully they’re being consistent with that here.
Tencent is China’s leading social media company, primarily thanks to its QQ instant-messenger and its suite of social games. Recently, the Shenzhen-based company has been trying to keep pace with trend with more of a focus on smartphones and even the Mac.
Weixin, in the mould of Talkbox and Whatsapp, launched in January 2011. Weixin is largely disconnected from QQ – though there’s the option of using your QQ credentials to login, though the QQ ID becomes irrelevant within the usage of the app – so its success can’t be explained away by confused QQ users sort of stumbling into using the Weixin apps. It has versions for iOS, Android, Symbian, and Windows Phone.