Two formerÂ WhatsAppÂ employees have launched a private, ad-free social network dubbed HalloApp, and the app bills itself as the â€œfirst real relationship networkâ€.
HalloApp is the brainchild of the earliest employees behind WhatsApp Neeraj Arora and Michael Donohue, who both worked at WhatsApp before and after Facebook acquired the messaging platform.
According toÂ theVerge,Â Arora was WhatsAppâ€™s chief business officer until 2018 and a key figure in negotiating the Facebook deal. And Donohue was WhatsAppâ€™s engineering director for nearly nine years before he left Facebook in 2019.
HalloApp is a new category of an app â€“ a digital space for people who you actually know and want to connect with. You use your phone number to connect with friends, family, and colleagues youâ€™re already connected to through your address book.
There are many similarities between HalloApp and WhatsApp: the app is designed for group or individual chats with close friends and family, the only way you can find people is by knowing their phone number, the messages are encrypted, and there are no ads.
The app is broken into four tabs, featuring four tabs at the bottom (home, groups, chats, settings), a shortcut to add a new post or images, and two icons at the top (one to invite contacts to the app and one for an activity/notification menu).
Announcing the launch on Twitter, he said â€“ â€œOur vision at HalloApp is to build a simple, safe, private place for people to connect and share what matters â€” with the people who matter most.â€
On @HalloApp, you can.
The first Real-Relationship Network.
â€¢ No ads, bots, likes, followers, etc.
â€¢ End-to-end encrypted chats – no one can read them (not even us).
Now you can be yourself online.
— neeraj arora (@neerajarora) July 19, 2021
The firm says it doesnâ€™t capture any â€œadditional dataâ€ from your phone book though. In fact, the platform says it doesnâ€™t collect, store, or use any personal information. â€œMore importantly, we will never show you ads. Ever. Instead, we plan to eventually offer additional features at a small cost,â€ it adds.