Facebook anonymously launches photo app in China

Cheryl Sanders
August 14, 2017

The social media company's connection to the app was first reported Friday by The New York Times, which said it was released in China through a separate local company called Youge Internet Technology.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has visited the country many times in recent years.

However, companies in the USA and the West are often stumped by China's alien culture, where big local companies have already significantly transformed its Internet landscape. Colorful Balloons has features similar to Facebook's Moments application. During the visits, he evidently had talks with government officials about the company's future in the country.


After being blocked for years behind the formidable Great Firewall, Facebook is trying to sneak around the barrier with a new app. It helps suppress posts from arriving in a particular geographic area. What remains unclear is how exactly Facebook believes it can profit from doing this. The Times describes the initiative way for the Facebook to " see how the Chinese customers digitally share information with their friends or communicate with their favourite social networking platforms".

According to data from App Annie since May, "Colorful Balloons" has been in near limbo in China.

The Verge provided a statement; the Facebook said "it is spending the time understanding and learning the many about the country in multiple ways". The app looks and feels nearly exactly like Facebook's Moments app, but has been renamed to disguise any hint of its affiliation with the Zuckerberg-founded company.


"Our focus right now is on helping Chinese businesses and developers expand to new markets outside China by using our ad platform". Even the name of the new app resembles the logo of the original.

Silicon Valley's biggest players are willing to do anything to tap into the lucrative Chinese market, even going so far as to agree to the government's demands despite it challenging a company's ethos.


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