What is WeChat and How is it Used?

WeChat is the largest social network in China and is also widely used in other countries, including the USA. WeChat offers a multi-purpose social messaging application founded in 2010 that works across multiple platforms.How

WeChat mainly provides instant messaging, chat, video calls, and voice chats, but in 2020, WeChat users can do everything from posting videos to filing for divorce on the app.

They can also synchronize their posts, called “Moments,” with Facebook and Twitter. In
2019, WeChat was estimated to have one billion users. While most users stick with the
simple services, WeChat API for developers is also commonly used.

What are APIs?

An Application Programming Interface (API) is a toolset that programmers can use in
helping them create software. For example, an API is used by Apple devices to detect
touchscreen interactions. APIs are tools that allow programmers to deliver solid
solutions fairly rapidly.

WeChat APIs for Developers

WeChat has 2 types of accounts: subscription and service. A subscription account only
gives you access to the Message API which allows for receiving messages and auto-
responses and allows you to broadcast to your users once a day.

A service account gives you an APP ID and APP SECRET which allows you to generate an access token which is needed for pretty much all the other APIs apart from the Message API.

WeChat APIs allow developers to access and integrate the functionality of WeChat with
other applications. Some example API methods include managing users, managing
accounts, and retrieving lists of chats and calls. In addition, WeChat APIs allow
developers to access and integrate native functionalities of WeChat within many types
of applications, including:

● Native mobile applications / APP

● Web-based applications powered within WeChat in-app browser (H5)

● WeChat Mini Program

The available functionalities to integrate vary depending on the type of applications.
APIs for WeChat can drastically enhance the user experience in the following areas:

● single sign-on login

● managing users

● managing accounts

● retrieving lists of chats and calls

● scan a QR code and retrieve the result of the scan

● record a video

● uniquely identify your visitor

● upload images

● share content to a chat or a group chat

● share content to WeChat moments

How to Get Started

With a service account, you will get the APP ID and APP SECRET from
admin.wechat.com –> login –> function –> advanced –> developer mode –>

Just under your token, you will see the APP ID and APP SECRET

You can confirm your account type by going to admin.wechat.com —-> login. Once you
are there, look at the top right of the screen next to your account name, and you will see
your account name. Right above your account name, you should see either subscription
account or service account.

To test available APIs, it is highly recommended that you visit the developer sandbox
environment to get full access.

Hopefully, this post has given you a basic understanding of both the WeChat service
and how to use APIs to enhance the WeChat user experience.

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