How Tencent’s Qute is Chatting Up Indonesia


qute messenger app

So Tencent’s made-for-Indonesia Qute messaging app has more than a million users. That makes me curious to find out what is it all about and how is it different from the 100 million user strong WeChat. On surface, there isn’t too much of a difference since both WeChat and Qute are mobile chat apps. You type, you send, you chat — that’s about it.

Diving deeper still, I find that Qute is extremely social, but is pretty much the same as WeChat. Discovery seems to be at WeChat’s core whereas Qute puts it right at your face. And as you know if you’re a long time reader of this site, Indonesia really does love social. Qute is fun if you’re really looking to making more new friends, or perhaps someone to be more than a friend..


Qute search allows you to find other users based on gender and region. Unfortunately, it isn’t capable of allowing users to search based on location. WeChat, on the other hand, allows both location-based and gender search. Qute also doesn’t have address book matching like WeChat does. So finding friends on Qute is a norm.

So how do users connect via Qute? Every Qute user has a unique number. Indonesians are accustomed to connecting via a Blackberry pin number. So connecting via a Qute number should be just fine in Indonesia too. Qute, though made by Tencent, doesn’t allow users to use their QQ number to log in. I tried and it failed. So this app really is a standalone for Indonesia.

All in all, Qute and WeChat don’t really have many differences between them. Qute obviously has more Indonesian users than WeChat. The users surrounding me on WeChat are mostly Chinese (I’m in Jakarta now), and I confess I’m quite surprised to see so many of them in Indonesia. Qute is fun to use, but it isn’t well-optimized for a smartphone. And perhaps it is meant to be this way since its features cater mostly to lower end phones. But the sticky features are there; it’s social and allowing users to find friends from a specific gender works very well. Of course, it’s also popular because Tencent is pushing it hard, like this campaign that gives users a chance to win $1,050 for recommending their friends to use Qute.

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