Friday, 20 September 2019

TikTok’s owner launches Flipchat messaging app

LONDON: As TikTok continues to dominate app download charts, its parent company, ByteDance, is looking to extend its reach even further.

ByteDance launched a new messaging-focused app, as reported by TechCrunch. Feiliao, or Flipchat in English, is a messenger app that encourages users to form and join chat groups based around common interests.

Flipchat will be a complete hybrid messaging platform that includes instant messaging, video calling, and even a forum-like structure full of communities. The application will be available for both Android and iOS, but comes mere months after Bytedance unveiled a dedicated video-calling application called Duoshan.

Feiliao “is an open social product,” said ByteDance in a statement provided to TechCrunch. “We hope Feiliao [Flipchat] will connect people of the same interests, making people’s life more diverse and interesting.”

WeChat is still the dominant messaging platform in China, boasting 1.1 billion active users. The war of messaging dominance is set to heat up in the East as Flipchat download links are being blocked from being opened within WeChat. It seems that Tencent is concerned about the new upstart.

However, TikTok is the crown jewel of the ByteDance portfolio; it recently hit its fifth straight quarter as the most downloaded app in the App Store, according to a new Sensor Tower report.

Flipchat is currently a Chinese app that’s set to compete with WeChat, the messaging app that dominates in China. However, its arrival might be cause for worry for one U.S. company: Facebook.

As Facebook showed at its F8 developer conference, Facebook has placed its chips on private messaging as the future of the company, big time. It is consolidating the infrastructurebetween its disparate DMing platforms — Messenger, Instagram DM, and WhatsApp — and betting on private communication as the future of its users.

With TikTok’s popularity and novelty, the newly messaging and privacy oriented Facebook might want to keep Flipchat in its rear view mirror.

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