WeChat has been dominating the Chinese market, with many other chat apps competing against it, TikTok chat app – Feiliao finally arrives on the scene. Bytedance popular TikTok startup has been a top app on both iOS and Android platforms because of the video app.
Bytedance had four months ago announced its video-focused chatting app called Duoshan in a press event. Now the latest announcement revealed a new app called Feiliao (飞聊), or Flipchat in English. It is a hybrid of instant messenger and interest-based forums. The new app is available on both iOS and Android.
Feiliao is already being compared with WeChat and its challenges, but from the looks of it, the app is designed specifically to cater to a certain niche. WeChat, on the other hand, is an everyday communication app that comes with payments, car-hailing, food delivery, and other forms of convenience services.
Feiliao, which means ‘fly chat’, focused on encouraging users to create forums and chat groups related to their preferences or hobbies.
The app description mentions: “Feiliao is an interest-based social app. Here you will find the familiar [features of] chats and video calls. In addition, you will discover new friends and share what’s fun; as well as share your daily life on your feed and interact with close friends.”While talking with TechCrunch, ByteDance said Feiliao is an open social product which will try to connect people with the same interests, making people’s life more diverse and interesting.”
Though the app claims to be open, it has no option or a direct way for users to transfer their WeChat profiles and friend connections to Feiliao. Other notable facts are the user cannot log in via the Tencent app and links to Feiliao cannot be opened on WeChat.
Alibaba has collaborated with Bytedance to enable Feiliao’s payments function via Alipay digital wallet. It has also partnered the company with TikTok’s Chinese version Douyin, the platform that allows certain users to sell goods via Taobao stores.
Flipchat will have to compete not just with WeChat but yet another app called Jike which is backed by Tencent. Jike enables people to discover content and connect with each other based on various topics. It is a sort of a Chinese version of Reddit.
An industry expert in China feels Feiliao is focused on communities related to hobbies, key opinion leaders/celebrities, people from the same city, and alumni. There are no direct similarities between Feiliao and WeChat the stage is set for a battle, with Bytedance having an army of popular apps to back them.