WeChat picture editing: The latest iOS version of WeChat released yesterday (Version 6.5.2) includes a full range of picture editing tools. Now you can edit photos directly within WeChat and post them to a group or moments. The update also allows you to add WeChat custom stickers to your pictures! Read on to find out how it works & why WeChat has made this change.
How to use it
First update your WeChat to version 6.5.2 through the app store. Now go into a group chat and open up a picture to send to your friends.
You will see a new option in the bottom left corner for WeChat picture editing (编辑). Select this and a range of options will appear (see below).
Draw directly onto the picture
Is WeChat moving into picture editing?
Meitu Pic (Chinese name: 美图秀秀 logo above) is currently China’s number one photo editing app. Meitu has includes features allowing selfie loving young girls across China to apply virtual make-up, lengthen their limbs and make their faces look slimmer.
In June 2016 Meitu Pic was reported to have 106 million monthly active users (approximately 1/8th of WeChat’s 846 million). Meitu are likely concerned about this new direction of WeChat as an obvious next step could be to introduce a variety of beauty filters. Meitu Inc. the owners of Meitu Pic begun trading on the HK stock exchange just days ago (Dec 15th). The company’s value is currently $4.6 billion.
WeChat actually did introduce photo filters for Version 2.1 way back in June 2011 and then removed them (read previous article here). More on this later…
WeChat Video Editing
WeChat also made a major update to video editing just a few days ago.
The WeChat 6.5.2 update for iPhone provides users with a range of video editing tools to create 10 second full screen video clips. The move is a game changer for short video creators in China who can now showcase their work on WeChat moments.
What’s going on?
These new WeChat picture and video editing options represent a big change in WeChat’s strategy for individual user generated content (UGC). WeChat could have introduced these features a long time ago but chose quite deliberately not to.
“Giving users the ability to add a filter to their photos does not get us closer to having users contribute authentic communication to each other.”
– Stephen Wang, WeChat team, 2015
WeChat considers changes like this very carefully. These updates are symptoms of a major shift in WeChat’s product values. Watch this space as more will be revealed on China Channel’s blog soon…