Sci-tech

Facebook anonymously photo launches app

Facebook anonymously photo launches app”

This file photo shows logos of USA online social media and social networking service Facebook in Vertou, western France.

Facebook's interest in mainland China has prompted it to create a photo-sharing application that has been released discreetly, without the social network's brand being attached.

The app, called Colorful Balloons, was launched in China earlier this year and does not carry Facebook's name. The app isn't necessarily built for distribution though, as any shared photos lead to broken links.

Chinese authorities have long blocked Facebook, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, arguing that foreign social media services operating beyond their control pose a threat to national security. CEO Mark Zuckerburg has made many trips to the nation, even learning Mandarin to facilitate communication.

However, according to Quartz, data from the app analytics firm App Annie has shown that despite a boost in downloads since news of the app went public, it still finds itself in a losing battle to beat the established players in China such as Meitu and Meipai. And even if it abides by every regulation, there's a good chance the government won't think too highly of it if Facebook is indeed involved.

In a statement, Facebook officials said, "We are very much interested in China and are spending more time in understanding and learning about the country in different ways".

Apparently, China uses different photo-sharing apps like Weibo and WeChat after the Facebook ban in the country. The director of the company, a woman named Zhang Jingmei, appeared in a photo of a meeting between Facebook and the Shanghai government, sitting next to Facebook executive Wang-Li Moser, indicating she is likely associated with the company, the report added. So there's a great chance it's a Facebook employee (or at least advisor).



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