WeChat’s Latest Update Includes a Walkie-Talkie Live Chat

Willis Wee
3:42 am on Feb 8, 2013


After several people asking us for a review, we finally got two of our team members to update to the latest WeChat version and give the live chat a test. Sorry for the slight delay, people.

Overall? I would rate it a lukewarm good. There were times when our voices were unclear (though that could be the sucky internet!) but generally the experience was pretty decent. Long story short, WeChat’s live chat works like a walkie-talkie. You and your friends are put into the same group (see right) to have quick voice chats. Push the button and speak. Release to send. Not rocket science.

It’s similar to the current voice chat but more fun and convenient, plus it enables you to converse in a group. If the network connection is OK, you could practically replace your walkie-talkie with the WeChat app. We can foresee ourselves using the app to do quick communication when running our conferences. Only thing that might be of concern is that voice messages in live chat mode aren’t trackable. But that seems like an acceptable sacrifice for fast mass voice communication.

We also asked ourselves how the live chat is different from call and recorded voice chat. Our conclusion was that walkie-talkie live chat allows you to save data usage and also battery life. Data is only used when voice messages are sent and received, so there’s minimal data consumption when live chat is on standby mode. Meanwhile, calls charge money regardless of whether you’re speaking or not, and voice recorded chat isn’t real-time enough to facilitate fast communication in groups.

The rest of the changes are pretty minor and straightforward. With the updated app, you can now invite friends to a group chat using QR codes, search through chat histories, and perhaps more importantly backup and restore your WeChat conversations.

WeChat recently also hit the 300 million users milestone.

  • http://www.m-stars.net Ferdi Zebua

    I know this is outside the scope of this article and the app being reviewed but: what about direct peer-to-peer chat between smartphones?

    Using NFC or Bluetooth? Would be useful no? Especially in situations when WiFi & cell signal sucks?

  • http://www.techinasia.com Willis Wee

    Hi Ferdi. I’m not sure if there’s an application for that. maybe the same type of branded phones may be able to do that.

  • Barbara

    I got the livechat in my wechat-app now but have no idea how to work with it. Where do I have to press and where can I hear my friends voice?
    Can you give me some instruction?

  • http://www.techinasia.com Willis Wee

    The button is smack right at the middle of the screen. it’s really big so you can’t missed it. press and hold – speak – release button to send message.

  • Billy

    I wonder if this live chat apps can do multiple guest. I tried with couples of my friends, but it can only apply for 2 person in chat room. is it applicable to have more than 2 participants in this live chat?

  • Noorul

    I wonder if our voice messages can be saved in our phone/sd card?

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  • http://www.banckle.com/ Hyder Ali

    You should check Banckle Chat – an innovative live chat application for small business.


  • moe

    You’ll should checkout at&t PTT, super super fast walkie talkie. Voice is crystal clear and in real time \o/

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