These days I started to try WeChat, a free WhatsApp, Viber, Line, Hangouts alternative that adds a very useful feature Video Calls. Its like Facetime but also works cross platform so although its still a bit clunky, I think it has a good future. Or at least it does until a contender with a bigger user base gets the feature on board.
WeChat is developed by a company called Tencent in China and it is available for almost every existing mobile platform (Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Phone & Symbian).
Between the features the app offers you can find Chat with History Backup, Video Call, Moments (to share pictures with your friends), Voice Chat (what was recently added by WhatsApp and I found very useful), WebClient (to talk with our friends we have on the mobile from any computer which is geat!), Look around (offers a way to connect with people nearby using also WeChat), and a cute feature called Drift Bottle (which allows you to place a message “in a bottle” and “leave it” floating, then anybody can pick it up and see your message 🙂
After installing the app in my iPhone I didn’t have anybody with WeChat yet, but I asked some friends to install it to test it around. I think it has a nice and clean interface, and over time could be a good contender, on the meantime the most valuable feature is cross platform video calling which works ok if both parties are on a Wifi or fast connection, but not very good if at least one of the sides is over 3G. I still dont understand why companies like Viber and WhatsApp havent started with video calls, even if they decided to charge something a lot of people will use it!
Here is an add from WeChat who hired the great Lionel Messi 🙂