Surging New Chinese Social Media App Gel Denies Infringement of User Privacy
A social media app called Gel, which focuses on virtual images, was published in January and has quickly became the first social app since 2019 to surpass WeChat in the Chinese app store download list. Recently, however, news has emerged that Gel violated users’ WeChat accounts, QQ accounts and other private information.
On February 11, Beijing Yidian Digital Entertainment Technology Co., Ltd., the app’s developer, denied the news, adding that “it is organized and planned slander by our competitors.” The company has collected some evidence and reported the case to the police.
The company issued a statement on February 13 that since the Gel app went live, it has encountered various problems such as delays, flashback and an inability to enter the platform. In order to let users have a smoother experience, during the large-scale upgrade of the system, the company removed the app from online stores and suspended the registration of new users to focus on improving existing users’ experience.
The app currently allows users to add just 50 friends, demonstrating that its target social group is acquaintances. At present, users can virtually pinch their friends’ faces, make special images and interact with others based on geographical location. App users are only allowed to publish photos of the day to record their lives, without any blocking function.
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According to the estimation of Qimai Data, as of February 12, the app’s download volume from iPhone users is 1.85 million. The app was downloaded 435,000 times on February 11, breaking a record high. In contrast, WeChat’s average single-day download volume from iPhone users in the past month was 298,000.
Current data show that user growth of Gel on the iOS platform is impressive, but that user growth trends on the Android platform still have a long way to go.