Breaking News: WeChat Desktop for Windows just got a BIG upgrade (Version 1.5) with a whole set of interesting new features including both voice and video calling. WeChat is really moving at breakneck speed in terms of it’s development. This is the second big change to WeChat in 1 week (Skype style group video calls being the other). Updates to the new Windows 1.5 version of WeChat include:
- Video and Voice Calls
- Multiple Chat Windows
- Access to All Stickers
- Backup of Chat History to Android Devices
- Ability to Exit Groups
- Ability to Access Official Account’s History
- Support for Enterprise Accounts
We’ll take you though each of these features 1 by 1 and also show you how to get the upgrade.
Video and Voice Calls
This is the biggest upgrade. There are now 2 new icons on each chat thread:
Video calls will pop up in a new window which can be made full screen.
Voice calls will appear like this.
Multiple Chat Windows
Now you can drag individual chat threads out into separate windows just like with QQ or Skype.
Backup of Chat History to Android Devices
This new feature is very useful in certain situations. Losing your phone or having your chat history wiped for other reasons can be a major headache, especially for anyone using WeChat for business or work (most people in China). The option is available from the settings menu.
When you back up to your android phone, the new information from the desktop will be merged with your phone’s chat history.
You can now exit groups directly from a top drop down menu.
Access Official Account’s History
When directly accessing an official account, then will now be a drop down option from the top from which there is an option to view the account history.
When viewing an article also, by clicking on the account’s name a small window will open with the option to view the account history.
How To Get The Upgrade
Click on the settings icon in the corner and then select ‘check for updates’
Confirm that you want to upgrade and the download should begin.
Conclusion and Analysis
The previous versions of WeChat desktop were very basic. This new update represents a big expansion of key features (in particular voice and video calling), making it a much more robust option for desktop instant messaging (IM). The update blurs the lines of distinction between the two dominant IM platforms in China: WeChat and QQ (both owned by Tencent). WeChat is now moving into what is popularly considered QQ’s territory. While this update is currently only available for Window’s version, a similar Mac update will no doubt be following shortly. China Channel feels it’s only a matter of time now before we will see ‘moments’ and other key features are also available on WeChat desktop.