WeChat Launches New Features, Here's How to Use Them

By Bailey Hu, October 28, 2016

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WeChat's developers are always finding some new way to make the app more useful (read: necessary) to our daily lives. The latest update, while not the most revolutionary, brings more control into the hands of group 'owners' and members.

The most obvious change is the shiny new button that's been added to the panel at the bottom in group conversations.

The 'Go Dutch' feature was previously only accessible in WeChat by tapping Me > Wallet > Go Dutch. Now you can pressure your friends to pay up with just one click.

It's actually pretty useful. Let's say you create a WeChat group to make lunch plans with your friends A, B, and C. After you've decided when and where to meet, whoever ends up footing the bill can then request compensation directly through the WeChat group.

If friend B was assigned a last-minute work project and had to cancel on lunch, WeChat's got you covered too.

go dutch wechat select

After tapping the 'Go Dutch' button, you can handpick the people in the group who will receive the message by selecting 'Members.' With this, you can even choose the specific amount of money each individual owes you. Those who don't owe you anything won't get notified and everyone is happy. 

So in the case above, whoever paid can de-select friend B from the 'Go Dutch' list. And if friend A already owed an extra 50 from a previous lunch, it's very easy to add that onto A's current bill.

When you actually send out your 'Go Dutch' message, it looks suspiciously similar to a hongbao, but green instead of red. Those who tap in can view who else has already paid, and how much.

combined aa green bao wechat
A Chinese example of the new Go Dutch message (left) and what happens after you tap it (right)

The second major change in the latest update is a way for 'owners' of groups to manage their membership. Just in case you didn't already know, you can become the owner of a group either by creating it or having the position passed down to you by the previous leader.

Owners have always had special privileges, such as being able to use the "@All" tag to get everyone's attention. Now, they can also choose to oversee each new addition to their group.

If you're a group owner who'd like to test this out, open up your group chat and click the icon on the top right. Go to 'Manage Group' and switch on 'Verify invitation.' Once this is done, new members will need your approval before they can join. If you're wary of your group's population blowing up too quickly, or just value exclusivity, this one's for you.

verify invitation wechat group

Excited to try the new features but haven't figured out how to download the latest version of WeChat (6.3.28)? Open up the app and tap Me > Settings > About > Check for Updates.

If you don't have the 6.3.28 software but still get a message saying "This is the latest version," you're one of the many Android users who can't access the update yet. With any luck, though, it won't be long before you're up to speed.

[Images via SZNews.com r/t Chinanews.com]

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