Free phone calls to anyone? Wechat phone book app launched

Yesterday night, an instant communication app launched and everyone was rushing to download the new software. After only one day, the total downloads has already exceeded 22 million, making it number one on the hot list of the app store. However, there was a lot of criticism complaining about bad experiences because the crazy crowd overloaded the app.

From the description of the app, we can see that it is factually a communication software, supporting both ios and android platform, allows you to call for free when wifi is available. If you are at a place without wifi, then your data traffic is deducted instead. To use this function, you must have a Wechat account, log in this app by using a Wechat account and connect your phone number with the app. Meanwhile, the one being called should install this app and go through the same procedure as well. When both are readied, you can enjoy the “free call” function offered by the app.

Nevertheless, the server of the new app was extremely unstable, causing a lot of users communication disruption and some couldn't even complete the registration. Yesterday at 11:25AM, the certified Weibo account of Wechat phone book made an announcement: “Dear users, due to overload of the app, at the moment the functions of Wechat phone book, including login, registration, receiving identification codes and free calls etc, are not stable, affecting the experience of some users. We are now fixing it. Any further news, we will share with everyone instantly. We are very sorry for any inconvenience.”

It is not the first “free call” software in the market. Several years ago, a software called Skype renowned for calling without any fee launched. Many Chinese use this software to avoid high rate of calling abroad. Apart from that, there were a variety of apps with similar functions as Wechat phone book, however they disappeared one by one without even being known by others. It is said that the limitation, which you can only call for free with wifi, is the main reason why this sort of app cannot be widely spread.

On the other side, some people comment that it will be the doom day of carriers’ telephone service. Thus, carriers reply with optimism: “This sort of app is totally based on data traffic. Once you are outside of home, you still have to spend your data traffic provided by carriers to access the app. Maybe less people will use the telephone service if the app prevails, but it still benefits us since they have to spend more money on data traffic.”

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