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You may not have heard of WeChat, but people in China and other parts of Asia are very familiar with the amazing services offered by this Tencent-owned application.

Just like the rest of the common messaging apps, WeChat lets its users send free messages to other users of the app as well as enjoy free HD-quality voice and video calls over the internet. The app has a user base of over 650 million people in the world, but more than 70% of this population is based in China’s mainland.

Last week, Tencent announced a new feature on this app known as WeChat Out. Well, this one sounds familiar, does it? If you already use Skype or Viber, you should be familiar with the terms Skype Out or Viber Out. Using the newly launched service, users of WeChat are no longer restricted to chatting with only those people who have downloaded and installed the app on their phones. Instead, they can now contact anyone, regardless of whether this person is using WeChat or not.

It is now possible to make calls to friends and family living in Hong Kong, India and the U.S. at very low rates. All you need is the recipient’s cell phone number or their landline number. As expected, the company promised that this feature will soon be rolling out to more countries very soon.

As a way of getting its millions of users to try out this app, WeChat is offering free calling credit of $0.99 and according to the company, this credit will be enough to make calls totaling to 100 minutes.

Tough moments for Skype, Viber and LINE

Skype has been offering users the ability to make international calls via the Skype Out feature and so have Viber and LINE. The latter apps are very popular in Asia, just like WeChat, but they are nowhere near it. On the other hand, WhatsApp, the most popular messaging app as well as Facebook Messenger, the second most popular chat app, have no such offerings at hand, but the users can still use them to make free calls to the other users of the apps.

Having a feature that lets you keep in touch with your family members living abroad is the best thing one can ever imagine of. More, the service is currently rolling out on iOS and Android.

Other WeChat features

As mentioned earlier, WeChat is also used for messaging purposes that include text, videos, audio file, photos, emojis as well as stickers. The app also lets users carry out lots of other commercial tasks such as hail and pay for a cab, book hotel and travel reservations, send money to friends and many others; features that Facebook is trying to introduce on its Messenger platform.

WeChat is available as a free download from the official Play Store and iTunes App Store for Android and iOS users respectively.