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Former WhatsApp employees target Facebook with private social network

Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

TL;DR

  • Two former WhatsApp employees have announced a private, ad-free social network.
  • HalloApp also promises end-to-end encrypted chats and that it won’t capture additional data.

Facebook’s business model means it’s heavily reliant on collecting user information for ad-tracking purposes, resulting in huge profits for the firm. But two former WhatsApp veterans have announced their own take on the social network that promises to be the antithesis of Facebook.

HalloApp is the brainchild of Neeraj Arora and Michael Donohue, who both worked at WhatsApp before and after Facebook acquired the messaging platform, The Verge reported. The new service claims to be “the first relationship network,” according to an official blog post. So what does that actually mean?

“Imagine your friends online were your real friends. Imagine your feed wasn’t filled with people and posts you didn’t care about,” reads an explanation on the post. “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.”

If the original WhatsApp team made Facebook?

Instead, HalloApp claims that privacy is integral to the service, bringing to mind the earlier days of WhatsApp. The service uses your phone number to register, there are end-to-end encrypted chats, and it uses your contacts to connect you with people. 

The firm says it doesn’t capture any “additional data” from your phone book though. In fact, the platform says it doesn’t collect, store, or use any personal information.

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“More importantly, we will never show you ads. Ever. Instead, we plan to eventually offer additional features at a small cost,” it adds. 

The app itself is pretty basic, 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).

HalloApp is now available to download for Android and iOS. You can check out the Android version via the button below. Would you use this service though? Let us know via the poll further up the page.