WeChat has the reputation as being the ‘super app’ which does everything in China. The popular perception being that WeChat features and services are constantly expanding. Yet this isn’t always true. Features or options do sometimes get removed and today China Channel brings you 5 of the more prominent ones:
Pencil Pilot 经典飞机战士
The first ever WeChat game launched as part of the huge WeChat 5.0 update in August 2013. This retro style shoot’em up was a big hit and helped kick-start WeChat games. Sadly Pencil Pilot has served it’s purpose and is now no longer bundled together with WeChat or searchable from the Wechat games center.
The for the nostalgic among you, you can still play a recreated version of it here (long press the QR code)
Filters for photos
WeChat used to offer the option for Instragram style photo filters. Interestingly this feature was later removed which at first seems strange as you would expect filters to be warmly welcomed by users.
The decision to remove photo filters was recently revealed by WeChat product manager Dan Grover “We chose to remove them as photo filters go against the ideal of WeChat being a platform for authentic communication.” Adding the extra step of choosing a filter also slightly complicated the process of posting photos.
Fish lens filters from an early version of WeChat
Early Sticker Sets
Many of the very early sticker sets are no longer available on WeChat, having long disappeared to be replaced by the flood of options now available at the Sticker Store.
Gongu, the green monkey, is an example of one of the very early WeChat sticker sets that is sadly no longer available for download.
Sticker store options now available in China as of late 2015:
Before the whole WeChat Official accounts platform took off you used to be able to install a whole host of 3rd party plugins for other apps and access them directly in your chat threads through WeChat tools.
The + button (now removed) allowed you to add an plugin. This enabled you to quickly launch an app when chatting with your friends and then send content in that app over to the conversation easily.
Front Facing Camera on WeChat ‘Sights’
WeChat sights lasts just 6 seconds. The feature is designed to share with your friends a brief glimpse into what is happening in your life at that moment in an authentic way.
What is it not designed for? Selfies! That’s why you will find the option to switch to a front facing camera removed. It’s deliberately difficult to make a ‘sights selfie’ and WeChat wants to keep it that way it seems.