Former WhatsApp employees create new chat app: HelloApp

Two early WhatsApp employees have teamed up to create a new private social network. HalloApp is now available for download for both iPhone and Android.

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Former WhatsApp employees launch HalloApp

The app describes itself as the ‘first social network for relationships’ and there are many similarities with WhatsApp. For example, you can chat one-on-one as well as in groups and you need each other’s number to message someone. Messages are also stored encrypted and there are no ads.

HalloApp consists of four parts:

  1. A timeline that shows things that your friends have posted;
  2. group conversations;
  3. Individual talks;
  4. And a tab for the settings.

This makes the app a cross between Facebook, a social network, and WhatsApp, which focuses on chats. The big difference between the traditional players and the newcomer is that HalloApp does not use algorithms. The contributions you see from friends and family are therefore not curated by a computer, as is the case with Facebook and Instagram, for example.

The design of HalloApp is very calm and minimalistic. The social network is currently free to use, but a subscription service will be rolled out in the future. It is not yet clear how much it will cost and when it will be released. For the time being, the new WhatsApp competitor runs on investment money.

Attack on Facebook

HalloApp was developed by Neeraj Arora and Michael Donohue, two ex-employees of WhatsApp. They are among the first employees of the popular chat app and have lived through both the period before and after the takeover by Facebook. Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014.

Arora worked at the company until 2018, Donohue left a year later. Although they do not name their ex-employee, HalloApp seems to be a direct attack on WhatsApp.

In the welcome message on the website, for example, they write that their new app does not present users as a product. “Imagine that your timeline is made up of moments you really want to experience, not the nonsense of people and companies you don’t care about,” the blog post reads.

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