Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and WhatsApp have a new rival in the market. It is called HalloApp and promotes itself as the “first network of real relationships.”
Challenging Facebook Traditions
Its creators are Neeraj Arora and Michael Donohue, who worked for WhatsApp when Facebook bought it for $22 billion. The former took part in the negotiations with Zuckerberg’s company, while the latter was director of engineering.
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Now, they have launched what they believe might be a blow to their former bosses.
Although HalloApp’s launch went under the radar ––as intended by its founders–– Arora and Donohue have given some interviews and published a blog where they describe their creation as a challenge to social network traditions.
The simplicity of the interface seeks to give a minimalist but quality experience, with which HalloApp emphasizes its commitment to creating authentic relationships.
Unlike Facebook, HalloApp doesn’t use algorithms that decide what users see. As informed by The Verge, “The only way to find someone on the HalloApp network is to know their phone number… the chats have end-to-end encryption, and there are no ads on the social network at all.”
Brands, influencers, and unknown users are also barred from the application.
“Imagine your friends online were your real friends. Your feed is not full with people and posts you didn’t care about,” Arora says.
“Imagine scrolling through meaningful moments and seeing what you wanted you to see — not what the algorithm wanted you to see. Imagine a network not treating you like a product.”
An Intimate Social Network
HalloApp proposes a more realistic space divided into four simple sections. The first is a wall with the publications of friends, followed by a section for group and individual chats, and also a settings section.
To avoid the incursion of brand advertising, HalloApp will require a subscription later on, through which users can avoid the use of their data for ads’ personalization.
The company's blog post on Monday did everything to position HalloApp as the antidote to traditional, engagement-driven social media, or “the 21st-century cigarette” ––as Arora puts it.
Although there are no references to Facebook in the blog post, “it’s no secret that WhatsApp’s two co-founders, Jan Koum and Brian Acton, left Facebook over disagreements about plans to monetize WhatsApp with ads,” informs The Verge.
Acton supported the #DeleteFacebook campaign to encourage users of the social network to delete their accounts, amid the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Facebook is part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their founders' families.