Almost 10 years ago, Neeraj Arora, the former CEO of WhatsApp, was involved in selling the company to Facebook. Now, together with another former WhatsApp employee Michael Donohue, they have been working on their own startup HalloApp for two years, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Unlike Facebook, the new social network will not encourage people to spend as much time as possible in the application or share their links to attract advertisers. Instead, HalloApp users will pay less than $5 per month per subscription. Groups in the app will be limited to 50 people.
HalloApp has raised $15 million from investors for the development of the social network. This is one of the few startups that need to solve the problems of modern social networks. However, these issues themselves are being discussed.
HalloApp believes that limiting group size will reduce the likelihood of abuse. Meanwhile, the right-wing platforms Parler and Truth Social are seeking to reduce the number of content rules so that users do not have to worry about censorship. Other companies, on the other hand, talk about a combination stricter rules on content and design decisions to make online debates more civilized.
The biggest advantage of HalloApp according to the founders is independence from advertising. Users can only keep in touch with people in their address book. Posts disappear in 30 days, and messages are encrypted by default.
The design of the application will not stop some lunatics from spreading misinformation. However, because the size of the network is smaller than Facebook’s, it will be harder to share and the negative impact will be minimized.
All this puts pressure on Meta, whose advertising business is suffering because Apple has restricted data collection. The company is also being screened for antitrust violations, which prevent them from expanding in the usual way through the purchase of smaller competitors. However, the company says that this only encourages them to improve.
Meta is also creating tools to help people connect with small groups, like new startups in this field. However, many who rethink social media believe that the small size is becoming a feature. They are not trying to compete with Facebook’s global reach.