Social networks, apps and games
app-icons-Wechat

WeChat

WeChat is one of the world’s most popular social networks. It has multiple features, including text, audio and video chat, games and location sharing. WeChat also has a feature called time capsule, which, similar to Instagram stories, lets you share short videos for 24 hours.

13+

Official age rating

Kids use this to...

Play

Create

Learn

Connect

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Our safety ratings

Overall safety rating:

Our overall rating for WeChat

Average

WeChat is an all-in-one communications service with a variety of features to connect with other users around the world. To gain access to the app users must be verified by another user.

There are a number of different features available on WeChat including content sharing, gaming and voice calls. If you let your child use the platform, you should explore the different features together and decide which ones are appropriate for them to use.

There are parental controls and privacy settings available that will help to keep your child’s account private. However, there is still a risk your child could chat to someone they don’t know on the app or come across something that upsets or confuses them.

Safety features

To set up an account you need to register via Facebook, Apple ID or mobile phone number. Your details then need to be verified by another WeChat user for you to gain access to the app. There is no age verification on WeChat, meaning that as long as you know someone else who uses the app, you can access it whatever your age.

WeChat has a parental control mode that can help to limit what games and features your child can acess on the app. This needs to be enabled in settings.

Privacy & location

There are a number of privacy setting within WeChat that can help you manage who can send you messages and add you as a friend. Make sure to explore these on your child’s account.

WeChat also has a feature that allows you to share your real-time location with other users and also connect to people who live nearby. However, this can be disabled in settings. Make sure location sharing is switched off on your child’s device.

Reporting & blocking

You can easily block and report other users in WeChat. However, you can’t report individual comments, videos or images

Content

We didn’t come across anything inappropriate while exploring the app. However, because the content on WeChat is user-generated there is risk your child could see something that upsets or confuses them.

O2 Guru top tip

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On WeChat blocking

Explore WeChat with your child and show them how to block or report other users.

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Top tips for staying safe

Sitting down with your child and exploring WeChat together is a great way for you to learn more about the platform and discuss ways your child can stay safe.

There are lots of different features available on WeChat and you should agree some rules with your child about which ones they’re allowed to use. Here are some of the features you might want to discuss with them:

Moments - similar to a Facebook newsfeed, Moments is the ability to post images, text, share music and comment with friends. All content posted is visible to that group of friends and you can also share your location.

Group chat - with up to 50 people, but you can pay to add more people.

Tickle - double tap on a friend's profile in a group or private chat and a tickle message will be displayed.

Shake - shake your phone and be connected to anyone else around the world who is also shaking their phone.

People Nearby - using location settings, find people nearby and connect/add friends and communicate.

Friend radar - If you've just made a group of new friends in real life and want to swap contact information you can open "Friend Radar". This shares your information and adds the entire group as a friend.

 

 

Help your child think about what they share online and who sees it. Compare it to what they would be happy to share offline.

Use examples that are easy for them to understand: “You shouldn't give your number to somebody you don't know on the street. Is somebody online you don't know any different?”

Listen to their answers. And be positive and encouraging.

Remind them that they shouldn’t share private things, such as:

  • personal information, like names, emails, phone numbers, location and school names
  • other people's personal information
  • links to join private group chats
  • photos of themselves
  • photos of their body, such as sexual photos or videos.

WeChat makes it easy to connect with people you don't know. You're able to search for 'people nearby', which shows you other users up to 5km away. You can also use the 'shake' feature which connects with random people across the globe.

We recommend exploring the following features with your child and setting them up together to make sure your child is as safe as possible when using WeChat:

Enable Friend Confirmation

You can set up Friend Confirmation in privacy settings. This means other users have to send a friend request to connect with you.

Change how people can add you

By default, other users will be able to add you if they have your WeChat ID or mobile number. You can turn this off in the 'Methods for Friending Me' section of the privacy settings.

You can also have a look at WeChat’s Help Centre if you have any specific questions.

Your child might see or receive something upsetting or negative on WeChat If this happens, they might want to know how to report or block.

WeChat has guidance on reporting, as well as how to block someone.

And remember to let your child know that they can always talk to you about worrying things they see online.

Explain that you understand the internet is a great place to play, create, learn and connect. But remind them they can talk to you if anything upsets or worries them.

Reassure them that you won’t overreact – you’re just looking out for them.

It’s important to remind your child that they can talk you, another adult they trust, like a teacher, or Childline about anything they see online.

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Talking to your child

Having open, regular conversations with your child will help you to really understand and explore the online world together. Our tips and advice can help you start these conversations.

Talk about staying safe online

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