WeChat Made Addicted Users Go Cold Turkey For 12 Hours and Filmed Everything

By adageeditor@adage.com (Angela Doland)


For people outside China, it can be difficult to understand how tight of a grasp the WeChat app has on people’s lives. The average user sent 74 messages a day on the app, WeChat parent company Tencent Holdings said last year. Half of users spent over 90 minutes a day using it.

WeChat is only six years old, but with 889 million monthly active users, it has transformed the way people in China interact, do business, read the news, buy things and pay their bills. It just did a little experiment to see what happens when people are forced to log off for 12 hours.

Tencent worked with Saatchi & Saatchi Guangzhou to film six short documentaries about the experience of people going cold turkey. The videos seem designed to remind people of how much they rely on WeChat, while encouraging them to disconnect sometimes to have more authentic human experiences. Yes, the company is apparently encouraging people to think about what WeChat addiction is doing to their lives.

For people outside China, it can be difficult to understand how tight of a grasp the WeChat app has on people’s lives. The average user sent 74 messages a day on the app, WeChat parent company Tencent Holdings said last year. Half of users spent over 90 minutes a day using it.

WeChat is only six years old, but with 889 million monthly active users, it has transformed the way people in China interact, do business, read the news, buy things and pay their bills. It just did a little experiment to see what happens when people are forced to log off for 12 hours.

Tencent worked with Saatchi & Saatchi Guangzhou to film six short documentaries about the experience of people going cold turkey. The videos seem designed to remind people of how much they rely on WeChat, while encouraging them to disconnect sometimes to have more authentic human experiences. Yes, the company is apparently encouraging people to think about what WeChat addiction is doing to their lives.

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Source:: Advertising Age – Digital