QQ Messenger may not sound familiar, but it's the most popular IM client in China.
With more than one billion registered accounts, QQ Messenger is now more than just a simple IM client: it's a whole social phenomenon that millions of people use on a daily basis, and an essential part of their lives.
The truth is that QQ Messenger is not that different from other IM clients you may have used. There are the typical contacts list – which you can organize by groups - support for voice and video chats, smileys, nudges, ability to send photos and share files (with support for pause/resume!), and other utilities we're used to finding in IM clients. There's one important difference however: in QQ Messenger you hardly find any ads!
Besides the traditional IM tools, QQ Messenger also includes some not-so-common features. You'll be able to capture an area of your screen or record a short video clip on the spot, and share both of them instantly with your contacts. Another area where QQ Messenger stands out is personalization. You can customize almost anything, from choosing a skin for the interface to selecting the font for your messages. The program also includes a wide selection of avatars and personal pictures to choose from, but if you don't like any of them, simply upload one from your hard drive. The only thing that didn't work for us was downloading more themes from the Web.
QQ Messenger is mainly a tool for chat, but it can also be used to help your friends or customers thanks to its integrated Remote assistance tool: a basic remote control app that grants you access to your friend's desktop and enables you to help them with any computer issue.
In general terms, QQ Messenger surprised us for various reasons: first, it features a nicely designed interface with cute buttons and icons, which is hard to find in IM clients; second, it has interesting extra features that make it a complete communication tool; and third, it's amazing how such a popular program with more than a billion users is still known by so few people over here!
On the downside, I have to admit that QQ Messenger was a bit unreliable when trying to add contacts - which, by the way, are identified with numbers, like good old ICQ. Not a very user-friendly method, I'd say. Other than that, QQ Messenger is a great IM cilent that is definitely worth trying out.
QQ Messenger, the most widely used IM client in China, has now an international version that may help it become even more popular!