Facebook's Colorful Balloons app isn't lighting up the Chinese market.



Facebook has finally found a way to get a foothold in the world's most popular country that has blocked it from re-entering since 2009. The simple answer is to secretly launch an app. The secret weapon is to launch it under a different name and unleash it upon the Chinese iOS App Store. Facebook released its photo-sharing app Colorful Balloons back in May.
The app has none of its own branding attached and Facebook has done nothing to promote the app. The only clue given is that it has the same icon as Facebook's Moments app and similar features.


"We have long said that we are interested in China, and are spending time understanding and learning more about the country in different ways,” Facebook said in a statement. It's been three months since but no one seemingly wants to have that app on their phone. The response was muted. This suggests that Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg will be facing an uphill battle if they are to crack one of the strictest countries in terms of censorship.
The app basically collates your photos from the albums on your smartphone's and then lets you share them, with the use of a QR code. It is not available on the Google Play Store.

The company did its bit in adapting to a local audience. While Moments connects through Facebook, Colorful Balloons links through the popular social media mobile application WeChat.

What is Facebook's goal?

Facebook's short-term goal is learning about how apps become successful in China. The app gives Facebook an insight into how Chinese users share information with friends on the internet and how they interact with various social media platforms. China has more than 700 million internet users and they mostly use apps like Tencent's WeChat. Zuckerberg himself has made repeated attempts to get Chinese authorities on their side.
Zuckerberg has learnt Mandarin and even posted a photo of himself jogging right past Tiananmen Square. Facebook even went the full mile and developed a censorship tool that stops these 'sensitive posts' from appearing on news feeds in certain geographical locations in the hopes of entering China.

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