Tencent Launches New Audio Social App ‘Echo’

Just recently, Tencent released a live voice social app called “Echo”. When opening the app, users can see the slogan “encounter the voices you like”. On its homepage there are three tabs — Follow, Popular and Nearby on the top left corner.

Once the user follows the people they like, they can listen to the live audio of the person. In addition, users can follow other people inside the same online chatroom.

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Audio social apps are hardly a new concept. Tracing back the history of online social in China, chat rooms were once wildly popular with hundreds of thousands of visits per day. Later on, YY emerged. YY voice, the instant messenger tool by YY, was originally designed to meet the demands of gamers for timely communication and better teamwork during gaming. Due to its powerful and stable voice function, it quickly became popular in the voice social apps market. As early as the end of September 2012, official data shows that its registered users exceeded 400 million.

Ever since 2013, phone-call apps prospered, including Bilin (neighboring in Chinese), Peiwo (accompany me), and Orange Hotline. The main trick with these apps is: one-to-one private calls. In Bilin, for instance, users can browse through the profiles of nearby users and request to call someone. The call is made possible if the other person accept the request within 24 hours.