Two former WhatsApp employees start HalloApp
There are many competitors and alternatives to WhatsApp or other ‘Facebook’ messaging services. Telegram is perhaps the best example of this. This week a special alternative has been added. This is special because HalloApp is the work of two former WhatsApp employees who were quite ‘high in the tree’ during their time with the chat app, even after the takeover by Facebook.
HelloApp: WhatsApp with a Facebook touch
In that respect, it is not surprising that HalloApp, except for the spelling of the name, is very similar to WhatsApp. HalloApp is a chat and messaging app for both one-on-one and group conversations. The layout is almost identical to that of the major competitor. There is a tab for Home, Groups, Chats and Settings.
The biggest difference with WhatsApp is the option that HalloApp users can also share posts consisting of text, photos or videos with contacts. They appear in a timeline on the home page of the app. In this way, HalloApp in fact immediately becomes a competitor for Facebook. In theory that is, because the app will first have to attract a few (hundred) million users. In that respect, many competitors and alternatives to both WhatsApp and Facebook have stranded in recent years.
Of course I installed the app and chatted with myself, as a test. Of course there are still very few (read: almost none) users. The number of Android downloads from HalloApp has barely passed 500. Apple doesn’t give download figures, but there won’t be many more, for now.
In the description of HalloApp, a number of ‘unique’ advantages of the chat service are mentioned. They also don’t differ that much from the competition.
– No pressure to send and accept friend requests>
– No ads, brands and celebrities (if you are one yourself you are allowed to use HalloApp with your friends)
– An easy way to share candid moments in a relaxed environment
– The ability to create intimate, private spaces with HalloApp groups
The initiators of HalloApp are Neeraj Arora and Michael Donahue. Arora was WhatsApp’s chief business officer for many years, until 2018, and as such was closely involved in the acquisition by Facebook. Donahue was WhatsApp’s engineering director for nine years before leaving there in 2019.