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WeChat tackles Skype with the addition of landline and mobile calling

WeChat is playing catch up to Skype, launching a new feature called WeChat Out, which allows you to call any international landline or mobile phone number.

Published onJanuary 6, 2016

WeChat Out banner

It’s no secret that WeChat is huge. With over 600 million users, it’s right up there with Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp. WeChat clearly has expansion in mind, announcing a new landline calling feature for the US, India and Hong Kong called “WeChat Out”.

Similar to the way you can call any number – Skype or regular – in Skype, WeChat now allows users the ability to dial out to any international landline or mobile number. While the launch will initially be restricted to the three countries mentioned above, others will be added in due course.

WeChat Out calling

A free $0.99 credit will be gifted to any who starts using the service, which WeChat’s parent company TenCent is claiming will get you up to 100 minutes of talk time “to most countries”. Note that you’ll only have a week to use that credit before it expires, so make use of it while it lasts.

All you need to do to start using WeChat out is tap the + icon in the top right of the app and select WeChat Out, then choose from your list of contacts or type straight into the dialer. If you don’t see WeChat Out yet, make sure you have the most current version of the app for your region.

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Comparatively speaking, WeChat is in need of additional features if it wants to compete with the likes of WhatsApp and Messenger. While WeChat is the default messenger in China, WhatsApp now has a billion active monthly users and Messenger is not far behind on around 800 million. WeChat, by contrast has a little over 600 million and Skype is sitting on around 350 million.

Which messenger do you use? Are international and mobile calls still important to you?

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