HalloApp hopes to build a private, friends-only social network, free from algorithms and creepy advertising. It comes from two members of the original WhatsApp team. Can it succeed?
There are two kinds of social media. One is the Facebook/Instagram model, where almost everything is public, and we overshare in the competition to be liked. The other is the WhatsApp model, which is more private, and mostly built around your real friends. But even though the contents of your WhatsApp is encrypted, everything else—who you are, where you are, and when and who you message with—all ends up in Facebook’s surveillance machine.
The alternative is something like Apple’s iMessage, which is private and personal, but limited in terms of sharing to groups. That’s where HalloApp comes in.