Earlier this week Facebook launched an app called Colorful Balloons in China. The app is essentially identical to the already-released Facebook Moments app. The debut of this new photo-sharing app is only headline news because Facebook is currently banned throughout China. Does this discreet test signal a return to the Eastern Asia territory for the social network?
Facebook’s Market Research
The first news outlet to report Facebook’s presence in China was The New York Times. Approved by Facebook in May, Colorful Balloons officially launched this week. The social media giant acquired the help of a local developer, Youge Internet Technology, for the app’s look and feel. An anonymous release like this by such a high-profile company is truly unprecedented in the 21st century.
What Facebook’s app creation does is illustrate how badly technology companies want a piece of the Chinese market. With its abundance of active online users, it is the perfect location to take social media to the next level. Facebook could become the leader of the pact when it comes to social media site and app creation in the ‘forbidden’ territory.
Facebook In China
Mark Zuckerberg has not tried to hide his pursuit of China’s market. The Facebook CEO has made many efforts to repair relationships with the nation. Zuckerberg reportedly met with several Chinese politicians recently as part of his site’s ongoing campaign to re-enter the market. The 33-year-old continues to study the nation by researching the Communist Party and the Mandarin language.
Facebook is not the only social media site that is currently blocked throughout China. The big blue app was officially banned in 2009; the same year the nation blocked Twitter. Facebook-owned Instagram was prohibited by China in 2014, and the WhatsApp was partially restricted this year. In a stand against internet censorship, Google, ceased operations in the country in 2010. But today, both Google and Facebook are intent on re-entering China, which represents the largest online market in the world.