Users Go Nuts Over WeChat Hongbao Feature (Updated)

By Cathy Wu, January 26, 2016

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UPDATE #1 (January 26, 2016 at 7:17pm CST): The WeChat Moments hongbao feature seems to have been taken down a little earlier than promised.

UPDATE #2 (January 26, 2016 at 9:20pm CST): The WeChat Shake feature also started running a hongbao function this evening at 8pm, with a second round at 9pm. WeChat also announced that they'll be rolling out more hongbao-related goodies on New Year's Eve.  

Notice a little gold camera button on your WeChat Moments today? Apparently it can bring you money, and WeChat users are already going nuts about it.

From 5 to 8pm today, you can post a photo on your Moments that will automatically be blurry. In order to reveal the full photo, your friends will need to give you a hongbao (or red envelope) containing a random amount of money. They won't be able to set the amount of money to give — instead, the amount is chosen by the platform. Clever Chinese New Year marketing ploy by WeChat, if you ask us.

Several have made jokes about the new function on WeChat, with one user saying, "I am now too poor to read posts on WeChat."

According to WeChat, the blurry photos will automatically be deleted at midnight. Unfortunately, the function is only available to people using the Chinese version of WeChat, because life is just unfair sometimes.

Apparently the launch of tonight's WeChat hongbao functions was a practice round for Chinese New Year. According to a message within the application, users can expect much more hongbao madness on New Year's Eve, which falls on February 7.

WeChat Hongbao

[Top image via Leifeng]

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