Skip to main content

Why WeChat is not a "real" social media app

Social media allows mass communications, but WeChat does not.  When people post something on a social media website, such as Facebook, people can interact with their friends' friends even thought they may not connect with their friends' friends on Facebook. They can also search and participate in trending conversations with the aids of hashtags. Can people do that on WeChat?

People can only interact with the friends with direct connections on WeChat. Let's say two people, Tom and Amy are "friends" on WeChat. I happen to know both of them in person but I am only connected with Tom on WeChat. When Tom posts an update, Amy and I can both respond to Tom's update, but I will not be able to see the conversation between Amy and Tom. Likewise, Amy will not able to see my conversation with Tom because Amy and I are not connected. The hashtags do not work on WeChat either.

Therefore, I don't think WeChat is a real social media tool. And because most social media tools are blocked in Mainland China, people living there really don't have a voice on social media.

The fact that people don't have access to social media in Mainland China does not surprise me, however. Things have always been well controlled for decades. What shocks me the most is people's choice when they are presented with options.

I met a nice lady last week, who told me she originally came from Shanghai and had been working at Cal Poly Pomona for over 10 years. We briefly talked about the firewall issues in Mainland China. Her response was: "I only want one-to-one conversation like what WeChat offers. I don't want Facebook or any other social media tools. They are just too much! Why bother?" When she said "I,"  her attitude and body language suggested that she was referring to the people living in China. All of a sudden, she became very offensive.

I was shocked. It is fine for people not to use the real social media tools. And yes, they may choose to have one-to-one conversation via SMS, WeChat, e-mails, or phone calls, but the question is: Do we want people to have the option of carrying on one-to-many or many-to-many conversations besides one-to-one conversation?

I certainly respected her choice, and I stopped the conversation. Yet, her comments keep me wonder what Mainland Chinese really want. Unfortunately, they cannot answer my question as they are not allowed on Blogger.com.  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Luxury vs. Millennials and Their Technology: The Ritz-Carlton (By Julia Shorr)

Embodying the finest luxury experience, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC has been established since 1983. In 1998, Marriott International purchased the brand offering it more opportunity for growth while being independently owned and operated. They are known for their enhanced service level as the motto states, “Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen”. The luxury brand now carries 97 hotels and resorts internationally and is attempting to keep the aspects of luxury while keeping up with the trends of the technologically improving generations. The Varying Demographics of the Target Market The Ritz-Carlton’s typical target market includes: business executives, corporate, leisure travelers, typically middle-aged persons and elders, and families from the upper and upper-middle class section of society .   This infers a large range of types of travelers in which all are similar in that they are not opposed to spending extra for the luxurious ambiance. However, with

How to choose the best credit cards for travel (By David Mai)

  Traveling in a Post-Pandemic World If there was one thing the pandemic taught us, it was that everybody became hesitant and unwilling to travel. Shaver (2020) of The Washington Post shared an interesting tidbit in which Americans were actually staying home less during the pandemic, according to research that tracks users' smartphone data.  The quarantine fatigue affected nearly everyone who lived an active lifestyle or loved to be out and about in the world. It was simply not a safe time, and too many regulations were in place that deterred consumers from traveling for leisure. Consequently, the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted the travel and hospitality industry. Yet, there is no doubt that people will yearn to travel again when the pandemic is fully lifted. Around this same time, credit card companies have developed unique ways to retain business with consumers who look to maximize rewards and benefits for their journey. A Little Preparation Goes a Long Way      

Yammer: A Social Networking Site Exclusively for the Workplace

Effective internal communications among employees are related to some desirable organizational outcomes, such as robust morale, a clear vision, low turnover, and high employee engagement. The question is what platform can serve the purpose. This ABC News video introduces “ Yammer ,” an exclusive internal communication tool for companies. A user must use a valid company e-mail address to sign up for an account. Once an account is validated, the user will be led to the company page that is pretty much like a Facebook page. The difference is that only the users whose e-mail addresses share the same domain can see the wall and communicate with each other. I have no question about whether Yammer could be a useful internal communication tool for companies, but I just wonder: how many social networking sites do people need for communication? Why people have to “create” so many platforms or channels for “effective communications”? To many people, Facebook is only for “friends,” whe