As with a growing number of OTT messaging providers, WeChat offers businesses the opportunity to create branded accounts that people can follow. You can find and follow BBC News India now.
On WhatsApp, you need the relevant user’s phone number in order to chat, with a limit of around 250 people per messaging group. The BBC has given its mobile contact details out on Twitter and Trushar Barot, assistant editor of the BBC’s user generated content and social media hub, explained that they’ve “had some cooperation” from WhatsApp on the group limit.
Figures from Facebook’s buyout of WhatsApp revealed that the company was still hovering around 450m users back in February, while WeChat said in its financial report in March that it has a total of 355m users across its two chat apps (one of which is localised to China).
Brands are quickly realising that these kinds of channels offer more direct communications that platforms like Twitter may not, as well as larger global audiences.
Barot told Journalism.co.uk that these platforms are already being used by candidates for pre-election campaigning.