WeChat may help users feel better

New York: Instant messaging service WeChat may enhance people’s feelings of overall satisfaction with life if they use it for fun and to pursue their interests, says a study.

WeChat use, however, will not necessarily bring happiness or unhappiness though that depends on how you use it, said the team of Chinese researchers.

The study, conducted by Zhengbao Wen from Hangzhou Normal University; Yinghua Ye from Zhejiang University; and Xiaowei Geng from Ludong University in China examined the motivations for and intensity of WeChat use by university students as they related to the users’ emotional experience and feelings of well-being.

“With its multi-faceted functionalities, research into the psychological impacts of this lifestyle app are only just beginning to be understood,” said Brenda K. Wiederhold from Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California.

According to its parent company Tencent, as of the second quarter of 2016, WeChat reported over 806 million active monthly users, a 34 per cent rise from the same period in 2015.

The study appeared in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.