The social media platform- Facebook – had been quietly launching a photo-sharing app called Colorful Balloons in China in May, according to a report in The New York Times. China is the same country where the social media giant is banned by the government so it is shocking that the social network is secretly testing an app in the place.
Colorful Balloons is similar to Facebook’s Moments app: Report
According to the report of news site The Verge, the app – Colorful Balloons – is appearing to mimic the look and feel of the Moments app of the social media giant. The Moments app allows users to share photos with family members and friends. The application works with the biggest social network of the country – WeChat – instead of interfacing with the social network.
The social networking site released the application through a local company called Youge Internet Technology, without any kind of branding from the social media giant and it is appearing to have taken efforts to make sure that it does not spread widely. In July 2009, China banned the social networking site and also blocked the messaging app – WhatsApp – in the same month (WhatsApp was blocked only partially). The Chief Executive Officer of the company – Mr. Mark Zuckerberg – has been working since then to find a way to get the social networking site reintroduced into China.
He even met with governmental officials to speed up the process. In addition to this, the CEO is working on a software for the country that assists in suppressing posts from appearing in a specific geographic area, according to several reports.
Here’s what Facebook has to say about the rollout
According to The Times, this mysterious rollout is “unprecedented” and it demonstrates the effort that tech companies will commit themselves to attempt and gain a foothold into the country and its population of 700 million internet users. It is not yet certain if the China-based government is aware of the efforts of the social media giant. According to the reports of the news site The Verge, the Cyberspace Administration of China did not respond to a request for comment from the Times.
The rollout does not look like an effort by the tech giant to release its media platform under the radar. The New York Times described the initiative of the social media giant as its way to see how the Chinese users “digitally share information with their friends or interact with their favorite social media platforms.” The social networking site said in a statement to The Verge that it is “spending time understanding and learning more about the country in different ways. Our focus right now is on helping Chinese businesses and developers expand to new markets outside China by using our ad platform.”