French startup Ten Ten achieves viral success and controversy with its invention of walkie-talkies

Lower than a 12 months after launching iOS, a French startup ten ten has gone viral because of a walkie-talkie app that permits teenagers to ship voice messages to their shut buddies even when their cellphone is locked.

Whether or not you suppose it is a recipe for catastrophe or the best factor you’ve got ever heard might rely in your age group, and youngsters have clearly heard about it lengthy earlier than us; though walkie-talkies are clearly not a brand new idea, even in software kind. Ten ten does the identical factor, however in 2024.

“We’re ephemeral by design,” Ten Ten co-founder and CEO Jules Comard mentioned in a written interview with TechCrunch. He added that in CB codes, 1010 means “Transmission Full, Ready.” In response to Komar, this is only one of “a number of meanings that align with our values ​​and imaginative and prescient.” This appears to resonate; The applying is free and shortly rises within the rankings.

Ten Ten’s sudden progress is especially noticeable in France, the place it has been downloaded 1 million occasions. Together with on Android, the place it turned obtainable a couple of weeks in the past, the app has been downloaded 6 million occasions since its launch, in response to the market analysis firm. Sensory tower from TechCrunch on Friday.

The idea may additionally endure adjustments throughout growth. The present UX suggests a restrict of 9 buddies, however this isn’t the case. “Ten Ten is for shut buddies, however there is no such thing as a restrict on the variety of buddies. We see individuals sharing their PINs on social media, so we’re engaged on enhancing the pal administration system,” Komar mentioned.

The PINs Comar is speaking about are identifiers that customers can use to seek out one another. The app additionally requests entry to the consumer’s contacts (however nobody is added with out consumer motion). Virality is inherent on this mannequin, however this isn’t the one driver of progress; TIK Tak “performed an necessary position,” Komar mentioned.

ten ten screenshots of 2024
Picture credit: ten ten

Ten Ten’s obtain numbers definitely continued to rise over the weekend, with Ten Ten being throughout French media currently. Not at all times with a constructive connotation; The French newspaper Le Figaro, for instance, referred to as it “alarming” “I used to be very shocked,” Komar mentioned. “There’s nothing ‘harmful’ about ten-ten!”

These aren’t simply articles that solid the app in a adverse gentle; In response to Komar, pretend information can be spreading. “There have been rumors that we have been a Chinese language app due to the identify “ten ten”, and we have been wrongly accused of “spying” and “information theft”…

Though ten ten shouldn’t be a Chinese language phrase. The corporate was duly registered in France from 2021, which suggests it is usually topic to the GDPR. His present phrases and Situations are boilerplate, but it surely needs to be talked about that the group is within the means of writing higher choices. Extra importantly, the startup Privateness Coverage I’m adamant on two factors:

  • All of your conversations are ephemeral, we can’t take heed to your dialog, since we don’t even save them!
  • We’ll by no means promote your information!!

Other than this choice to not promote information, it’s unclear how Ten Ten will earn a living. “We’ve got a number of cool concepts about how we may monetize later,” Komar mentioned. There is no such thing as a doubt that their present success will purchase them time and assist them safe enterprise capital to succeed in that later level.

When requested if his startup already had funding or was within the means of doing so, Komar answered within the affirmative. However, he added with a smiley face, “we can’t reveal how a lot and [from] who else.

In response to TechCrunch, French enterprise capitalist Hugo Amsellem famous that whereas his agency Instinct shouldn’t be one in every of these backers, he sees Ten Ten as a part of a broader development amongst French startups.

For Amsellem, the widespread thread is that “France is the king of the standing recreation.” Folks wish to enhance their social standing, and French entrepreneurs are completely satisfied to assist, be it with software program. BeReal, Yubo or Zenlyor luxurious machine {hardware}.

It stays to be seen how lengthy Ten Ten can keep its cool, however its CEO is conscious that its present place is each privileged and fragile. Komar mentioned:

It’s exhilarating, it’s a sense that’s onerous to explain, however a fortunate few have felt it, it looks like every little thing is occurring so quick and so gradual on the similar time, adrenaline mixes with delight, gratitude and duty, you are feeling huge and small. on the similar time – You may solely really feel this in client social media as a result of it will possibly hit you whenever you least count on it and there’s no ceiling. However it’s important to hold your head in your shoulders, that is only the start, essentially the most tough is but to return.

Komar and Ten Ten co-founder and CTO Antoine Bachet have been getting little or no sleep currently. The emoji autoresponder warns that they’re “having issues with our servers as a result of sheer quantity of simultaneous customers” and are “engaged on this present day and night time to repair it as soon as and for all.”

Server points apart, the technology hole is among the obstacles that ten-ten must overcome properly. Not solely is privateness typically mentioned, but in addition the truth that ten ten is utilized by youngsters and in lecture rooms. “Whenever you learn these articles, it is like they’re speaking about some new drug that is being distributed at school!” – mentioned Komar.

It is easy to see why academics have been the primary adults to take discover of the app. As a result of Ten Ten can bypass the lock display and play a message out loud, it may be used to play pranks and create minor disturbances in lecture rooms. However the necessity to educate cellphone hygiene is not new, and youngsters are sensible sufficient to determine it out, too.

Within the French subreddit for academics dialogue The query was requested whether or not the contributors had any issues with ten by ten of their lessons. One participant famous that “no main incidents have occurred but,” regardless of the app “getting a number of consideration” at their faculty. However this particular person added: “I ask college students to place their telephones on airplane mode.” (We have not contacted you to test whether or not this particular person is a trainer, however their profile appears to verify this.)

As an alternative of sparking a brand new ethical panic, maybe ten ten could possibly be a chance for fogeys to marvel at the truth that a few of our favourite cultural artifacts are making a comeback; be it cassette tapes, Dungeons and Dragons or, now, walkie-talkies.

From out of date to classic only one small step and successStranger Issues‘ in all probability helped. However app-based walkie-talkies would not acquire actual traction if there wasn’t an actual use case round them. Mosquito thinks there may be, and this impressed him.

“I’ve at all times had a bunch of shut buddies, we talk every single day by completely different channels, but it surely appeared to me that all of them had some type of disagreement,” he mentioned. “I wished us to have the ability to talk as if we have been at all times underneath the identical roof, like roommates: you simply go into their room whenever you need to say one thing, if their door is closed, you knock if it’s open, you are simply speaking! »

I hope in ten ten mother and father will see the worth on this too. Who is aware of, perhaps they’ll use it to say out loud that dinner is prepared. That’s, if {the teenager} accepts them as a contact.

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