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Tencent unveils audio social app ‘Echo’ to figure out what Gen Z wants

Social giant’s latest experiment.

Photo Source: shutterstock.com

China’s Tencent has just released a new social app that features live audio chat, marking its latest initiative to meet Chinese Gen Z’s online social needs, an area the entertainment and social media giant hasn’t made much progress and has been losing ground to ByteDance’s hyper-popular Douyin so far.

The app, named Huiyin, meaning Echo in English, allows users to log in via their QQ or WeChat account in a way to tap into Tencent’s huge social network.

On its home page, there are three tabs Follow, Trending, and Nearby, for checking out streamers one followed, the most popular content on the platform, and other users nearby.

The app’s use scenario is quite simple and straightforward. Users could just follow a streamer on the app, and listen to their audio performance and join a chat in a virtual room.

Huiyin’s slogan is “unexpected encounter with the voice you like.” It allows users to log in via QQ or WeChat. Source: Screenshot of Huiyin

Echo is Shenzhen-based Tencent’s another experiment in an effort to satisfy the Gen Z’s appetite. Although owning WeChat and QQ, the top two messaging apps in China with 1.15 billion monthly active users (MAUs) and 653 million MAUs, respectively, Tencent has been fearing of being left out of the new online social trends in China.

A report from research institution QuestMobile predicted that audio could be the next main medium for social-networking, with some smaller players already existed in the field.

Earlier this month, Tencent released a video-calling dating app dubbed “Maohu,” KrASIA reported.

Other Chinese tech companies are also aggressively exploring new forms of social-networking for the younger generation. For instance, ByteDance launched Duoshan and Feiliao; Alibaba unveiled Real Ruwo for college students; and Baidu announced stranger social-networking app Tingtong.