Founded by Jack Ma in 1999, Alibaba is China’s largest ecommerce company. It owns the shopping site Taobao, well known for its annual Singles Day mega sales -- which is bigger than Black Friday.
China’s ecommerce giant Alibaba is taking another crack at social media with an app called Real, which will let users scan faces to add someone as a friend on the app. The company says the app is based around both facial recognition and location.
On China’s iOS App Store, the app’s version histories suggest that users can take a picture of someone and the app will be able to find them using facial recognition. This appears to be a signature feature. A post on the app’s official WeChat account in October 2018 declares “Face is your best ID.” We couldn’t confirm whether the the feature works, though. The app is only testing in colleges in Hangzhou, and invitation codes aren’t widely available.
Alibaba has ventured into social media before with mixed results. The company’s answer to WeChat, a messaging app named Laiwang, was a failure. But Alibaba’s enterprise chat app DingTalk is a leader in China with more than 10 million companies and 200 million individual users.
(Abacus is a unit of the South China Morning Post, which is owned by Alibaba.)