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HalloApp is a new social app that skips the ads and focuses on privacy

So, it’s basically the opposite of Facebook.

halloapp on iphone
Image: KnowTechie

Earlier this week, a new social network burst onto the scene. HalloApp is a private social network from a couple of former WhatsApp employees. While similar to WhatsApp, HalloApp is looking to do things a little differently by maintaining the focus on close friends and family while remaining ad-free.

HalloApp quietly showed up earlier this week. As of Monday, the app is available for download from iOS and Android. The app contains many of the features that have made WhatsApp unique. Mainly, its focus is on maintaining relationships with close friends and family through encrypted messaging. Like WhatsApp, you have to know a user’s phone number to even find them.

HalloApp was developed by Neeraj Arora and Michael Donohue, two former WhatsApp employees. They were both at the company before and after Facebook acquired the app for $22 billion. Unfortunately, it seems like the Facebook acquisition was taking WhatsApp in a direction the Arora and Donohue didn’t like. In a company blog post announcing the release of HalloApp, Arora detailed the new app while taking some very subtle jabs at larger social networks:

“Imagine your friends online were your real friends. Imagine your feed wasn’t filled with people and posts you didn’t care about. Imagine scrolling through meaningful moments and seeing what you wanted you to see—not what the algorithm wanted you to see. Imagine not being treated like a product.”

There has been a lot of fuss within Facebook over the decision to run ads on WhatsApp, and this has caused a lot of former WhatsApp employees to part ways with the company. WhatsApp still doesn’t have ads, but it seems like it is only a matter of time before it does.

It seems HalloApp is looking to bring back the original vision of WhatsApp. The company plans to eventually integrate a subscription model to charge users for certain features. For now, HalloApp is just beginning its journey to becoming a more private and personal social network.

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