Weixan/WeChat – Shake your way to new friends

EDIT: We’ve been in touch with WeChat on Twitter. They’ve sent us a couple of Direct Messages there. Here’s what they said: 

“Hi Brian. Thx for helping us answer users’ questions! I can see that ur site is a super useful resource! We really appreciate it!” 

All well and good but how about some help! Here’s the next one: 

“We read through some of the comments & submitted these issues to the team. We’ll get back to you as soon as I hear back….”

The last one was back on September 27th, 2013. Still waiting. We’ll post when we hear from them. 


Last week, we wrote about WeChat. Here is the post: WeChat/Weixin . Here is the link to WeChat at the Apple Store. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wechat!/id414478124?mt=8 It’s available in the Android app store, as well.

Sometimes it seems that the only innovations in social networking are coming out of China. Honestly, that’s not all that hard to figure out, seeing as how there are over a billion people there and almost half of them use the Internet. Of those users, about 400 million access the Internet using the various mobile devices available, many of which are Smartphones.

Add the fact that Chinese Internet users are very sociable, probably more so than North Americans, and you’ve got a perfect wave forming for a company like Tencent (http://www.tencent.com/en-us/index.shtml). Enter Weixin or WeChat. Tencent already has a huge market with QQ and its own version of Weibo but now, with WeChat, they have come up with a purely mobile chat application that is, to us anyway, stunning.

Read our previous post then come back and find out how to meet new people using WeChat. Take your time, we’ll wait.

OK! Here we go. There are three completely different ways to look for other WeChat users. Of course, you can plunk in your other social media passwords and find out which friends already use WeChat or you can invite them to start using it, but here we’re talking about meeting completely new people.

1. The first way is to simply ‘Look Around’. If your mobile device has a GPS monitor, you’ll be able to search out WeChat users who live in your area. In my case, I found users within 900 meters of my home. To me, that’s kind of like standing on your porch and shouting, “Is there anybody out there?” Of course, the local users are all Chinese, except for me that is. Most early adopters of WeChat are overwhelmingly Chinese but, theoretically, that will change.

Once you find a WeChat user nearby, you can simply say, “Hi”. You can also tune the Look Around feature to show only males, only females or both. Personally, I think this feature is pretty cool but I can also see how it might seem creepy to some of you. If it does, you can easily delete the Look Around plug-in. It is part of the default set of plug-ins and is easily removed.

2. Instead of looking around for other WeChat users, you can shake your way to new relationships using the Shake plug-in. Choose the option from the screen and simply give your mobile phone a shake. WeChat looks around for other users who are shaking their devices at the same time and gives you the option to say hi to them. This plug-in is more proactive than the Look Around feature since you already know that the person shaking their phone is looking to make contact with someone. Say hi and see how it goes. You can always shake again if things turn sour. Remember, again, that virtually every user you contact will be Chinese. If you know anything about China and the Chinese people, you will know that almost everyone wants to learn English but many Chinese already have a rudimentary knowledge of it.  Many Chinese speak and write better English than some of your friends and neighbors, too.

TIP: If you meet someone you like and the English thing isn’t getting you anywhere, you can download QQ International. We’ll do another post on it but, for now, we’ll simply say that you can chat with someone who only knows Chinese even if you only know English. There is a wonderful translation app built into the International version which has opened up the world to China and, of course, China to the world.

3. The last way to meet new friends is to simply cast a bottle out into the ocean. Of course, this is a virtual bottle but it works the same way as a real bottle with a message in it. Type in your note or use a voice message and then toss your bottle into the ocean of WeChat users. WeChat will notify you when someone replies. Just now, I tossed a bottle out and almost instantly got three replies. One was a female exchange student in Denmark, another was a man who left me a voice message and the third was also a guy who just said, ‘Hello”. In the span of five minutes, I’ve got three new people to share things with. Cool!

WeChat isn’t for everyone. At this point, you have to have a keen interest in China and the Chinese people. You also have to be patient and be able to understand that not everyone in the world speaks perfect English. Once you’re over those hurdles, WeChat is loads of fun. Additionally, if you wait a year or so, WeChat will be flooded with millions of other users. At this point, it supports Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Portuguese, plus English and Chinese. (If you know social networking, you’ll see the importance of having WeChat available in Portuguese. Orkut, the Google version of Facebook, is extremely popular in Brazil.)

Questions, comments, links are all welcome. Thanks for reading!



779 thoughts on “Weixan/WeChat – Shake your way to new friends”

    1. You can make sure you don’t get strangers contacting you by turning off ‘find me by mobile number’ in your privacy settings. Otherwise, anyone with your phone number can send you a greeting. If you need more help, let us know. Thanks for commenting.

        1. You can’t. Delete the photo then repost it but set your privacy paramters before you post it. Share it with a group or one person or several friends. That’s the only way to do it. If you’ve already posted it, everyone may have seen it. Good luck and thanks for commenting.

    1. We do not know how long it lasts. We’ve never been banned. It could be permanent but we don’t know. Good luck and thanks for commenting.

  1. Hi, I’m having some trouble with discover tab. In shake option I find lot of people but when I send request no one replies.Initially I ignored that but later I found out no one is receiving my request.Very rarely I’m receiving friend request from others but it seems I can’t send request. Similary when it comes to bottles I rarely find bottles when I pick and again my reply doesn’t reach to the sender. Same happens when I throw the bottle.I am not receiving any reply nowadays. I wrote to wechat but no reply. Wechat is becoming useless for me now as I can’t communicate now. Even I’m having trouble communicating with people in my friends list. Please help.

    1. We’re not sure how you know that your messages aren’t being received. We can’t think of a way to find that out. Bottles is the least reliable way to find friends. WeChat will not answer your question, that’s for sure. Try everything on another device to see if it works. Use WiFi instead of 3/4G. Try to track down the problem. WeChat is working for us but something seems to be wrong with your device. That’s all we can suggest, sorry. Good luck and thanks for commenting.

    1. Try this: find that person on your contact list. Click on their profile and check their Moments. Scroll through them one by one. If you get a notice that ‘only ten Moments are available’, something like that, then you know that the person has deleted you. Alternatively, try messaging them. If you get something that says you must send a friend request first, then you know they have deleted you. The first way is less obvious but remember that you can always ‘unsend’ a message on WeChat. Just make sure you do it in less than a minute. Good luck! Thanks for commenting.

        1. If they are not sharing their Moments with you, it is your decision if you want to unfriend them. Either they have blocked you from seeing their Moments or they have unfriended you. If you can’t see any of their Moments, they have blocked you since anyone can see up to ten Moments, even if they are not friends. Does that explain it? Thanks for commenting.

        2. I added someone from my phone contact list automatically without having to send a request. How will i know if they also have me in their wechat contact list/added me??

    2. Hi just wondering how will i know if someone has me on their wechat contact list aswell? Eg; how will i know when i have added someone that they added me back? If they don’t post any moments how will I know they added me back?

      1. The only way you would know is to send them a message. If they answer back, then you are on their list. Also, if they are on your contact list with no restrictions, it would seem that they have added you. Thanks for commenting.

    1. There is no specific time. WeChat says “for a short time”. If there is a problem with being visible, just turn off your location. Press the three dots on the top right and choose ‘clear location’. Thanks for commenting.

  2. I already had blocking a person from sending message..but I not add or receive him as a friend request.but I weird how he can still send a message to me?

    1. Maybe they are using another account. If you have blocked a person, they cannot see you at all. If you are getting messages, they have saved your profile ID and are probably using a new account. Block that one too and see what happens. Good luck and thanks for commenting.

  3. Hi…I just wanna asked if somebody give me a friend request here on wechat ..how long is expiration for me to accept it? I mean can I accept it after 1 month?

    1. Sorry, we have no idea about the duration of a friend request. Whenever we try to add someone who seems to have added us, we get a ‘request friendship’ notice. There is some final time period but we don’t know what it is. Thanks for commenting.

    1. You don’t have to add someone to get messages from them. Anyone can send a message to anyone else on WeChat, unless that person is blocked. There are three ways that a person can find you, more or less. They can search your WeChat ID, your phone number or your QQ ID. In the Privacy settings area, you can turn these off. How did the person get your ID originally? Maybe from one of your friends or possibly from People Nearby or Shake. If you have used People Nearby, make sure you turn it off if you don’t want strangers to send you a message. Let us know if you need more help, OK? Thanks for commenting.

    1. There’s no way for you to know. If they don’t answer your messages, there are a few possibilities. They might have lost their phone. It could be broken. They have deleted the account but not deleted everyone on their contact list. It’s impossible to know. Sorry. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Is it possible to send multiple friend requests to the same person? I tried to text message a friend and then got the message “User requires friend verification”. I wasn’t sure if my friend request went through at first or not, so I then added some text with my name “Hey, it’s…xxxx” and tried to send it again. Is it possible he got multiple requests from me? Just want to know so that I can explain to him that I wasn’t trying to send multiple requests (don’t want to look like I was stalking, I just wasn’t sure if it went through the first time). Thank you!

    1. A couple of requests sound reasonable but if there is no action after that, it would make sense to give up. Unless the person has blocked you, and it seems they haven’t, they will get all the messages. After that, good luck! Thanks for commenting.

      1. when i shake mobile it shows some orange display and write something chinese…… why this happen?? i cant find anyfriends on shake…..

        1. There’s no solution to his unless you’ve added a helper app to assist you in finding other WeChat users. Clean out your phone, reset it and then install WeChat directly from your mobile store. Make sure it’s the real WeChat, not a fake version. Good luck and thanks for commenting.

  5. I can’t access people from far places ( means another country ), now i gettingonly few people from nearest places in a single shake. I was getting only one result from shaking and it was from far places. But now I can’t. Why?

  6. hi ,, i am chatting with my friend , but suddenly i am nt able to see her moment and when i am sending msgs its coming my friend has requested for friend verification and send request to start chat.. how it happen whether she blocks me or sum thing she did

  7. Hi
    Someone added me through shake, and after chatting for two days now i am not able to msg him, it says the message has successfully delivered but rejected by reciever. I am getting the messages from him but mine are not going. I dont even have his wechat id or phone nnumber. Could you help me how to contact him and let him know that my messages are getting rejected. Thanks.

    1. That’s a tough one. Maybe he has blocked/deleted you and unblocks/undeletes you to send messages. After the message is sent, it seems he blocks/deletes you again. If you don’t have his WeChat ID, who are you sending the messages to? If he is sending you messages, his WeChat ID is at the top of the message, isn’t it? You can’t receive anonymous messages on WeChat, not that we’ve seen anyway. Good luck. Sorry we couldn’t help more. Thanks for commenting.

  8. Hi
    I have blocked and deleted everyone before I deleted all my moments and uninstalled wechat on my phone. I do have their id, so I guess I can add them again. My question is, if I reinstall wechat on my phone and start adding people by entering their id, will they get a message from wechat notifying that I added them again? Or would I just be naturally shown on their list without any notification? thanks a lot

    1. If you use the same WeChat profile as last time, they won’t receive a notification unless they deleted you. If you’ve blocked and deleted everyone, why would you sign in to the same account again? Maybe you have your reasons but it doesn’t make sense. If you blocked someone, you’ll have to unblock them from a list, right? We can’t see how you can block and then delete a contact. If you block someone, they disappear from your list. Maybe you meant to block some and delete the rest. Anyway, good luck! Thanks for commenting.

  9. Hi i have been important question my husband block me on his wechat for 1week ago now and I want to contact him for emergency but I can’t reach him up even to his phone number how can I contact him is there any way that I can inter to his wechat even He block me thanks pls help

    1. Once he’s blocked you, there’s no way around it. The only thing you can do is to have a mutual friend contact him. If you don’t have a mutual friend and it is a real emergency, you can contact the local police or media and they might try to help you. Sorry and good luck. Thanks for commenting.

  10. Sir please help…i have deleted a person from my we chat id…now I am unable to find that persone because I don’t know her id…and also I don’t have any kind of backup…is that possible to get back them???

    1. No, it’s not possible to find her, sorry. Before you delete someone, write down their information or do a screencap which shows that person’s details. There’s really nothing you can do now, unfortunately. Thanks for commenting.

  11. I can’t see my friend’s photos and moments, but he still appeared from previous comments of my photos. Did he block me from his moments? or blocked me entirely? Can he still see my moments updates? How can i know?

    1. How many of his Moments can you see? If you can see all of them, as in more than ten, he hasn’t blocked you. Unless you have hidden your Moments from him, he can still see them. Is he still on your contact list? If he is, you are still friends and he hasn’t blocked you. Good luck! Thanks for commenting.

  12. I got the friend request but how to accept the request due only have a reply and message column. No pop up window to accept or block option?

    1. This is a bit confusing, isn’t it? We’re not sure how it works but it seems that simply answering a message will add that person to your contact list. Once they are on your contact list, you can press their name and then choose if you want to block them. The only time we see an ‘Accept’ choice is when we check our Recommended Friends. Check your contact list to see if the person is listed there. Thanks for commenting.

  13. My friend had blocked my wechat once and later unblock me. But when i message him, it says that i have been block. But my friend can still send message to me. I tried to delete his cantact and add him again. But now i could not even add him into my contact list as it says i have been block by the other user.

    1. If you have been blocked, there is nothing you can do about it. Our advice would be to block your friend so he can’t send messages to you. If he sends a message, look for the three dots up on the top right and choose Block. The only thing you can do now is to open another WeChat account and add that friend to it. You’re good to go until he blocks you again. Good luck. Thanks for commenting.

    1. Yes. If you want to disappear completely, block all of your contacts, erase your Moments, change your username and/or your contact email and phone number (we just did a post on how to do that) then sign out of your account. At that point you will be pretty much invisible. Good luck! If you need more assistance, let us know. Thanks for commenting.

  14. Hi I made use of my wechat today and I logged out. To my great surprise I could not log back in, I was told was temporialy banned cos have been reported so many times. What do I do now to get my account back.

  15. Did wechat message expire? Even when i am not logging in for one month but when i log in will i be
    able to receive that text?

    1. WeChat messages are stored on your device, not in the cloud. Unless you change phones/devices, the messages will be there. If you want to keep your messages, don’t choose ‘Clear Data’ when you’re sorting out your apps in your Settings section of your device. That erases all messages. If you change devices, you can upload your message history BEFORE getting rid of your old phone. Upload the history then download it to your new device. Then you can reset your old phone to factory settings for your own privacy and security. Thanks for commenting.

  16. hie..someone sent me a message saying hie,when i press accept button it says verification unsuccesful..i have accepted others but i failed to accept him,does this mean he blocked me before we even chatted..i can’t say hello back,i have to accept first..thanks

    1. Our guess is yes, they’ve blocked you. It’s possible that they changed their minds or maybe they didn’t like your latest Moments, you’ll never know. Accept and see what happens? Then again, if you accept this person will be able to check out your Moments. As they say, there are plenty of fish in the seas so maybe it’s better to keep looking. Thanks for commenting.

  17. With the “Shake” function it seems as though I get the same 10 0r 15 shakers regardless of the time of day that I am shaking. I have woke of in the middle of night to check and tried during all hours and seem to get the same shakers. With over 300 Million users this is puzzling how it is always the same group shaking at all hours of the day. Is there something wrong with the function?

    1. We think you have added another ‘helper’ app to your WeChat. That’s just a guess. Reset your phone and re-install WeChat with no helper apps. That might work. We get different Shake results every time. If that’s not the case, then get a new profile and see how Shake works with it. Thanks for commenting.

    1. Other than some setting in your permissions area, we have no idea about this but maybe one of our readers can suggest something. We have no Blackberry mobile devices other than a couple of Playbooks. Sorry. Thanks for commenting.

  18. Hi, i had faced this problem for quite some time and I actually sent a few emails to the support team before but I got no replies AT ALL. This is really frustrating!!! The problem i am facing with my account is the Drift Bottle feature. I can pick bottles normally, but whenever i throw a bottle, i can’t seem to get any replies from anybody. For previous versions, i always get a fake notification alert after i throw the bottle, but actually i did not get any reply at all…. I know this is a problem of my account because this problem only happens for my current account. I have an old account which i no longer use it, i used to face that problem too, that is why i created this new account but the same thing happens to my new account which is the current account that i am using. But now, my old account seem to “heal” by itself, i can receive replies after throwing bottles in Drift Bottle. But i do not want to use my old account anymore, but my new account’s Drift Bottle feature is not working properly. This is really frustrating and problematic. I created another new account, and the same thing happened too…. Only my old account can get Drift Bottle to work properly. I get a lot of replies whenever i throw bottles in Drift Bottle using my old account, but using my current account, i get none…. I don’t know why is this happening, so please fix this problem for me ASAP, i really need help. I really like the Drift Bottle feature of Wechat, it is really cool, creative, and fun, i want to enjoy it. Please do reply and help me solve this problem. For your information, i am using Wechat for iOS, and i always use the newest version of the app (version 5.2), i am using iOS 7.0.4 which is the newest version of iOS. I had tried creating a new account, disabling and enabling Drift Bottle feature, clearing chat history, logging out, clearing feature history, reinstalling the app, but nothing seem to solve my problem. My old account just happen to solve the problem by itself magically….

    1. You know that we’re not affiliated with WeChat in any way, right? We try to help WeChat users as much as we can but we aren’t in control of anything to do with the app. When problems like yours come up, we’re lost too. Other than offering some common sense tips, there’s nothing more we can do. We don’t have a pipeline direct to TenCent or WeChat. If one of the parts of WeChat isn’t working, it usually means that you’re using it too much. We’ve never had much luck with Drift Bottle so we’re not really sure what the hit and miss ratio should be. Shake and People Nearby seem to be the most popular of the three ‘meet people’ parts of WeChat so maybe the answer lies in the fact that there aren’t many bottles out there. We just tossed a bottle out and tried three times to retrieve one. We scored two out of three but one was in Arabic so we tossed it back. Sorry but there’s not much else we can suggest other than trying to use Drift Bottle a bit less and the other two parts of the app a bit more. Good luck and thanks for commenting. If we discover something more about this, we’ll let you know.

  19. we chat shake option is not working properly for past 1 month i did reset and changed my password too but still its now working always getting chines people only plz tell me hove to solve

  20. hi
    i just wanna know if this person has blocked me completely. here some indication:
    1) i cannot see any of her past or latest moment – i understand this. she has not share any moment with me anymore
    2) i still can see her changing her profile picture
    3) her comment to my moment still exist

    * i dunno what above indication say. but i just wanna make sure if i have been blocked or not

  21. One of my best friend blocked me for something…we have contacts in wechat only..i have to solve that pblm..and i have to chat with him on wwchat..how i can send him a message when he blocked me..when i am sending him message it is showing “your message send successfully but user rejected it”..like this.. pls help me to send him message..pls reply

  22. Hello! I looked at my We Chat account and the contact light was on. There is a person who I don’t know listed and it says from people you may know. It gives me the option to add this person. I have tried to find the idenity of this person using their name. I get a message saying they don’t exist. How can I find out who this person is? Thank you once more for your much appreciated time and help!

    1. To be honest, we’re not 100% clear on how adding friends works on WeChat. It was easy back when every account was linked to a QQ profile but that’s not the case now. It’s very difficult to know who is adding you simply because there is nothing that lets you see a profile or how they are linked to you. You could just add the person then immediately hide your Moments from them. That way you can get an idea of who they are by sending and receiving messages but they will not be able to know anything more about you than they already know. Good luck. Hope this helps. Thanks for commenting.

  23. Hi
    I sent message to someone on wechat and it shows “Rachel requested friend verification and send friend request to chat”. It means that does she block me? Can she still receive my message? How can I contact back again to her? please answer me!!

    1. We don’t think she blocked you but she seems to have deleted you as a contact. If she had blocked you, you wouldn’t be able to see anything about her. Most likely she got your message. All you can do is hope that she adds you back or replies. You can’t do anything from your end.
      Thanks for commenting.

  24. Hello. Thank you for answering my previous e-mail. I am confused about something. You said nobody can block you from seeing their current moments. You either see them or you don’t. If I go to a friends profile their is a moments option. If turned on they will not be able to see moments I post. Isn’t this a block? If they turned that option on wouldn’t I not see their current moments? Thank you very much!

    1. The Moments option has changed, we’re not sure how recently. Previously, your latest Moments could not be hidden unless you completely blocked someone. Up to ten of your last Moments updates were still available to someone you had hidden the rest of your Moments from. Now, anyone can block any of their contacts from seeing their Moments.
      A block, at least the way we see it, is a complete block. This would mean that the person who is blocked cannot see anything about the blocker, not their Moments and not their profile or any information on them. Maybe ‘hiding’ is a better term for preventing someone from seeing your Moments. The blocked person can still contact the blocker but they cannot see their Moments.
      Apologies for the misinformation in the last reply, we hadn’t checked how the new updates worked.
      Thanks for commenting.

  25. Hello! I have a friend who posts moments most everyday. This past week I only saw one moment posted. When I look at their album I see all the moments since we’ve been friends. I sent a message asking if everything is okay but I got no response. If they blocked me from seeing their current moments…would I still be able to see the old ones and comment on them, in their album? Thank you very much!

    1. EDIT: This reply isn’t valid now. Please read the updated reply farther down. No one can block you from seeing their current Moments. You see their Moments or you don’t. If this person hasn’t responded to your message and if they haven’t posted updates in Moments, then you can assume they are sick, busy or that they have lost their mobile device, something like that. Good luck! Thanks for commenting.

  26. If someone have been blocked .. how to sent a message with him .. because he didn’t received the message.. right? So isn’t has a way or that ?

    1. Hmmm, not sure what you’re asking here. If someone blocks you, that person cannot see anything you do and you cannot see anything that person does. You cannot message someone who has blocked you and you will not receive messages from a person that you have blocked. The person who has blocked you cannot send messages to you and vice versa. We hope that explains it for you. Let us know if you need more help. Thanks for commenting.

  27. Hi, I got couple of Friend Request in People Nearby. When i open the Greeting to Accept the Request, there is no “Accept” button, instead there is only a “Send Greeting” Button. This Happened for Several Greetings that i got. So is there a way to Accept that Greeting ?

    1. We’re not sure exactly how this works. If you reply (Send Greeting) then the person should be on your contact list. Perhaps you ‘accept’ that person when you reply. As you know, we’re not affiliated with WeChat at all. We only try to help people. If you have access to two separate devices, create a second account and play around with the settings. Send a message from one account to the other on People Nearby and see how it works. Let us know what you find out. Thanks for commenting.

  28. Few days ago, I disabled the function to add me by using my phone number and only enable person adding me using my wechat id. Yesterday,I received chat saying ‘Dan has added you to his contact list. Start chatting now’from my ex-boyfriend. When I opened chat from him, the top of the page has ‘add’ button. I clicked add and wechat said ‘send message to send friend request’. Im wondering why suddeny I receive the chat notification that he has added me to his contact list? Did that mean that he has added me by my id? Or by my phone number? But i only enable people to find me by my id. Thanks for your reply.

    1. That’s a tough question. We don’t have anything to do with WeChat, as you may know. We just write about it. The timing is suspicious, that’s for sure, but it may just be a coincidence. If you’ve turned off ‘find by phone number’, we can only assume that he found you by your ID. Maybe he got it from a mutual friend. Do you have any mutual friends? We’re guessing that’s how he found you. If this is disturbing for you, why not block him? Then you don’t exist as far as he can tell. Good luck and thanks for commenting.

        1. We can’t see any contact’s phone number so we assume that they won’t discover your new number. If you’re worried, turn off ‘Find me by phone number’ in your privacy settings. Once you do that, no one can link your phone number to your WeChat account. Good luck and thanks for commenting.

  29. How can I tell the difference between “I’ve been blocked” and “I’ve been deleted”?
    A contact still shows up in my contact list, but their Moments are gone. I can still send chat messages to them, and they appear to go, but I get no response. Just wondering if I’m pathetically sending messages to someone who deleted me and can’t see them anyway. :(

    1. We’re guessing that this person has blocked their Moments from you. If you were totally blocked, you would not see the contact at all. If you’re sending messages but not getting replies, then we’re assuming that the person simply has chosen to ignore your messages. Alternatively, their phone may have been lost or stolen or broken. This would mean that they can’t update their Moments or reply to you but your messages are still being kept in hold at WeChat. The person will get some of them once they start using the account again. Good luck and thanks for commenting.

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