Category Archives: Weixin

WeChat Shake Problem – a solution? Maybe.

There is a problem with the WeChat Shake application that we’ve written about in the past. It seems that the company responsible for WeChat, Tencent International, might have set up a temporary ban for users who use the Shake feature too frequently in one session. One of our readers noticed that he was able to get normal results, as opposed to purely Chinese results in Shake, if he simply stopped shaking for about half an hour.

To us, this makes perfect sense. Although the Shake feature is fun and quite exciting to use by times, we assume that it creates quite a drain on the WeChat servers. For this reason, we think that Tencent/Weixin/WeChat have created a shake limit for users who abuse this service.

This may be because of a drain on their servers or it could be an attempt to cut out or eliminate spammers from using the Shake feature to promote their products. Keep in mind that millions upon millions of Asian users use Weixin/WeChat, not just users in North America, Europe and Africa. India, for instance, seems to have taken to this app in a big way. When a company realizes the marketing potential available through WeChat, we think they would leap at the chance to contact users one to one, perhaps to the point of paying people to shake and then send out spam messages to users. We can imagine a scenario where a roomful of low-paid ‘shakers’ send out endless spam messages one by one. Knowing this, you can understand why we think WeChat has imposed a limit on the number of shakes per minute/hour/day for users. It’s a guess, but an educated one.

How popular is WeChat? This graphic gives you an idea:

Photo of WeChat Graphic
300 million users of which 50 million use WeChat* (as opposed to Weixin*).


(* WeChat is the English version, Weixin is the Chinese language version. )

That’s an incredible growth rate, isn’t it? As far as we know, the two sides of the app work in conjunction with each other. We have contacts who use Weixin and some who use WeChat. We can’t identify which app these contacts use so we assume that WeChat/Weixin is one big happy family.

Our advice? Keep shaking but don’t take things too seriously. If you’re looking for a date, sign up for an online service that concentrates on just that. If you’re looking for friends from all over the world, use WeChat’s Shake and relax. It’s free and works well. If you get odd results, take a break. Above all, don’t install any helper apps. You don’t need them and they may skew your search results. Happy shaking!
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Weixan/WeChat – Shake your way to new friends Part II

Back in May of 2012 we posted a story about WeChat and its new Shake feature. Since then we’ve been inundated with hundreds of questions regarding Shake, usually about problems users have with it. To date, there have been just under 400 questions and answers, 368 actually. For one post on a small blog such as this, that’s an incredible number of comments.

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368 comments so far.

Most of the problems with WeChat Shake seem to stem from faulty GPS signals or helper apps that interfere with the main WeChat/Weixin app. We use WeChat on two devices, one Android and one iOS (Apple) but, unfortunately, we haven’t been able to duplicate the errors. Every now and then we get a result that we know isn’t correct but after shaking again, everything goes back to normal. In this post, we’re going to list some suggestions about how you can solve problems that you have. We’ve tweeted the makers of the app several times but they have not responded yet. Although they follow us on Twitter, they don’t seem interested in helping their users. Hey, the app is free so we really can’t blame them, can we?

Suggestions for Troubleshooting WeChat Shake Errors

1. Is your GPS working perfectly for other apps?

2. Do you get errors on wifi or data? Do you get the same errors on each?

3. Have you installed helper apps that promise to assist you in finding other single WeChat users? We think that this is the first place to look for answers.

4. When you are chatting with someone, do you see blue lines under some of their words? These are links to something. Whatever you do, don’t accept a file from them.

5. Further with number 4, don’t accept files from anyone, even if you know them. Ask them to send it in an email or on QQ. That way you can use your anti-virus to scan the file before you open it.

6. If you notice Shake doing strange things, change your password. This goes for problems with any app or social media site. Make a point of changing your password on a regular basis.

7. Log out of your account, delete WeChat, reboot your phone then install WeChat again. Create a new ID and see if the problems are still there.

8. Change your WeChat name. You can change your name to anything you want, any number of times you want. This is what people see you as, not your WeChat ID.

9. Change your location. If you know that the results you are getting are faulty, move to another location. We’re not talking a few meters here, go a few kilometres away and see what you get.

10. Have a friend check their results against yours on a completely different device, preferably with a different carrier as well. What you’re trying to do here is to narrow the error down to your device, your carrier or the actual WeChat app.

Those are ten suggestions to start with. Use your head on this. The way to troubleshoot these problems is to narrow down the possibilities in an attempt to find a solution. It’s easy to suggest that WeChat is at fault and maybe it is but eliminate things that you are in control of before blaming the app makers. Here are our results from the last Shake search we did:

Photo of WeChat Shake Problems 2
No Chinese users and the KM distances are correct.


Remember this above all, WeChat is free and it’s fun, when it works. The Shake feature is taking the world by storm, sure, but it’s also free. If it works, fine. If not, don’t go crazy trying to figure it all out. Wait for a while to see if things change. Explore your device and your carrier’s services to see if the errors are based on something you or they are doing. We will do our best to answer your questions but until we can duplicate the errors, we’re simply guessing at a solution. Good luck and keep commenting.

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WeChat Shake Virus – a solution to a very real problem

We’ve had a huge jump in the comments on one of our WeChat posts. Here is a link to the post: Weixin/WeChat – Shake your way to new friends  Lately, the comments have focussed on what readers think are search results using the Shake feature that are skewed somehow. We think we’ve found the reason for this. Check out some of these screen caps. Maybe you can see where we’re going with this:

Photo of WeChat Virus    1
WeChat plus 54 other apps related to it.


We have both apps on our devices; WeChat and WeChat Voice. Both are made by TenCent International, the company that created WeChat. Can you trust these two apps? Sure you can. No problem. Let’s look at what other apps are available to ‘enhance’ your WeChat experience:

Photo of WeChat Virus    2
Same two at the top but lots more below.

Let’s see what we’ve got here. Find Friends for WeChat? Huh? Isn’t that what WeChat is all about? Why would you need to use an app to find friends for an app that finds friends? Something’s fishy here, folks.

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Some of these are pretty sketchy, aren’t they?

One more, just in case you are missing the point:

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Don’t even think of adding any of these. OK?

Just the same as on your PC, you’re at risk when you add software from companies that you are not familiar with. You have to ask yourself, why is this free? What will these people get from offering me free apps? Some get money from advertising. Others, unfortunately, have found a way to hijack WeChat’s Shake results. Instead of showing you other people who are shaking their phones, these apps will show you something else, usually spam ‘contacts’ who will try to get you to spend money on a product or service.

If you add any of these apps, you’re just asking for trouble. Remember those ‘free screensavers’ from a few years ago? Same thing there. After you installed them, your computer would start to act differently or would slow down to a crawl. Adding apps to your mobile device is reasonable safe, as long as you think about what you’re doing.

TIP: All you need is WeChat, nothing else. These add-on apps will do nothing but cause you problems. Some of these may actually hijack your mobile device, meaning that you won’t be able to remove them, even  by reformatting or resetting your device. Your flash card would be toast, even your ROM (the brain of your device) might be attacked.

Install WeChat, maybe add WeChat Voice but nothing else. You’ve been warned.

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WeChat – It’s free and fun but seems full of bugs.

WeChat is now the most popular topic on Computers Made Simple. Check out the comments at the bottom of this post: Weixin/WeChat – Shake your way to new friends, and you’ll see what we mean. People all over the world are using this free and fun app to meet and greet other users.

Photo of WeChat
Have fun with it but don’t take it too seriously.

WeChat is not without its problems, however. If you look at the comments from our readers, you’d think that WeChat is more of a problem than a solution. That’s not the case but, on the other hand, the makers of this app have not responded to our repeated requests for their input into the bugs. On yet another hand, WeChat is totally free. Because of that, users really can’t complain too much.

App software is a relatively new phenomenon, one that doesn’t require much or any cash input from users. These apps are usually platforms for ads. Some of them, ones such as WeChat which attract younger users looking to meet users of the opposite sex, are wide open to misuse and abuse. Some of the bugs that crop up may be the result of hackers who have found a way to manipulate the software or its servers for their own gain.  Also, we suspect that some governments in the world would rather not have their citizens using such an app.

Because of all of this, we’re here to say, “Enjoy it for what it is. Don’t take it too seriously and, lastly, if WeChat is the only way someone can meet other people, maybe they should take a break.”

If you’re shelling out your hard earned money for something, you have a right to gripe when it doesn’t work. WeChat usually does what it says it will do and is our current choice for keeping in touch with friends from around the world. Why? Simply because it offers so much for so little, nothing as a matter of fact. Chatting, sharing photos and videos, voice messaging, searching for other users, video conferencing, voice chats, well, you get the picture. If it doesn’t work perfectly when we’re looking for other users, no big deal. When it does, it’s fun. When it doesn’t, we do something else.

Finally, we know that this kind of app is addicting. Angry Birds is addicting too but in a different way. WeChat has opened up the world by allowing its users to find, communicate and add friends from just about anywhere. On top of that, WeChat lets you do this in a very unique, fun way. In the same way that Angry Birds was addicting because it was new, WeChat is very similar but the addiction comes not from knocking over pig’s homes but from maybe meeting the right girl or guy who could possibly change your life. Let’s call it a digital single’s bar.

Questions about WeChat or any other topic are the lifeblood of Computers Made Simple. We can’t always help but we do our best.

Thanks for reading!

WeChat – Mention a Friend in Moments

We had a question about the new ‘Mention’ feature on WeChat. If you use Facebook then you know you can tag someone in a photo or mention them in a post or comment. That directs their attention to the item, just to make sure they don’t miss it. Here’s how to do it on WeChat.

1. From any screen, tap Discover (or Social, depending on which platform you are using). When the following screen comes up, press Moments.

Photo of WeChat Mention   1
Press Discover to bring up this screen then press Moments.

2. As usual, press the icon of the camera up on the top right.

Photo of WeChat Mention   2
Press the icon of the camera up on the top right.

3. Next, choose your source.

Photo of WeChat Mention   3
Take a photo or choose one that you’ve already taken.

4. Once you’ve got the pic selected, press Done and this sharing screen comes up. This hasn’t changed much except that there is a new choice there, the @Mention button.

Photo of WeChat Mention   4
If you want to mention one of your contacts, press the @Mention button.

5. Here’s what you see next:

Photo of WeChat Mention   5
Press the big + sign to mention contacts in this post.

6. Your contact list pops up, allowing you to select up to 10 names to mention on this one post:

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Scroll down and tap each contact to select them.

7. Type in a description, if you want, then hit Send. If you want to limit your sharing to certain contacts, do that before you press send.

8. The contact who is mentioned gets a notification of a message in Moments, the next time they open WeChat. Once they go to the message, WeChat tells them ‘(whoever) mentioned me.’ That’s it!

TIP: If someone has mentioned up in a Moment post, there is nothing you can do about it. Your friend can delete the Moment but you can’t remove the mention. Yes, that kind of sucks. If someone does this repeatedly, you might want to delete or block that contact.

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