India’s JioChat app unashamedly clones WhatsApp

Reliance Jio is back on the front pages for the wrong reasons again. Recently, India’s biggest telecoms operator cloned the hottest mobile app of this year, Zoom.

Zoom has lately gained popularity as a result of the worldwide coronavirus lockdowns. So people are using the app to make video and voice calls for work-related stuff and leisure.

Seeing this overnight success of Zoom, Reliance Jio launched Jiomeet, a Zoom-cloned video calling app.

As if that’s not enough, now it has launched a WhatsApp clone called JioChat. Actually, JioChat isn’t a new app, it has been around for some time in India.

Reliance Jio only gave the app a facelift which has made its user interface similar to that of the world’s most popular messaging app, WhatsApp.

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Features of JioChat

Before we compare JioChat and WhatsApp, it’s important that you know what sort of features are available for JioChat users.

JioChat users can send and receive messages, make voice and video calls. Additionally, they can send stickers and create group with 500 members.

The app is truely Indian as it available in 11 Indian languages that include Kannada,Odia, Tamil and many more.

JioChat vs WhatsApp

If you put two phones side by side, one with JioChat and another with WhatsApp, you’d be forgiven in thinking that its just one app.

As shown above, the tabs of the menu are virtually identical. Just check the camera icons of the two apps and the chats tab.

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Instead of Status, JioChat has Stories. Although, it allows calls, Jio Chat didn’t have a dedicated tap for that. Instead, it has a Channel tab which allows user to keep abreast with the latest updates from the brands they follow on JioChat. And everything else is neatly packed in the top right corner.

When it comes to signing up to start using JioChat, users need to enter their number and receive an OTP. They will proceed to enter their name and gender to complete the registration process and get started.

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But for all the cloning of WhatsApp, JioChat still don’t have end-to-end encryption which is a huge selling point for WhatsApp.

Uptake of JioChat

At the time of writing JioChat has at least 50 million installs on Google Play store. It remains to be seen if this cloned facelift will propell the app to have more users and dethrone WhatsApp. JioChat is also available to iOS users on Apple app store.

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