Disclaimer: Every review I write is based on the knowledge available to me. I try my best to understand the concepts, the workings and the prospects. These reviews are not financial advice, but my personal views. Economically, I’m not a whale or even close to it, nor a small fish. All the information used in this review is publicly available
Specific disclaimer for this project: I have been involved in this project — but less so now. Haven’t been involved in the development or technical part, but only concerning Halo launching its own token. At the time first writing this review I only owned what has been airdropped by the team themselves. The token hadn’t been available in any other way by then. Since then the token has been available through their Telegram-group. I try to be as non-biased as possible. Short conclusion is that I think the project has a potential — huge — but also some disadvantages and obstacles.
Update April 16th 2019: The team has updated on the benefits of being an early adopter and early holder of Halo-tokens and I’ve now invested in the project substantially relatively to my “financial size”.
Several projects which are building on Tron are wholly or partly focusing on providing social media experience. One of these projects is Halo Social Meetup by Jeremy Burton.
In short Jeremy and his team dreams of combating the social media giants like Facebook. However, they are going to provide another kind of setup than some of the major social media - like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Telegram. More on this later. One of the aspects that Jeremy highlights about Halo is privacy. Halo won't store and sell the data they get on their users. That has been one of the central criticisms of the larger social media. But that is usually the price for getting it “free”. These things won't be free - what we are paying with will, however differ from product to product.
Another aspect of the vision is to perhaps target a wider audience to use the app. More on this later.
The app — concept and features
The main concept of the Halo-app is that people connect through interests. Like the ones displayed on the image on the left. Besides this the plan is to make it able for people to find other people with the same interest in their geographical area. This feature would mean that the app knows about locations. This is so far done only by people typing in their ZIP-code. This could probably be switched off and on. Another central feature of mobile apps is the notification-function. The default setting in Halo will be “off”. So you would have to actively turn it on to get notifications. It’s a small thing, but it also signals some core values from the designer and developer of the app. That the app will be less invasive in peoples daily life and private information.
Another great element - yet small thing - is it seems the app from the beginning will be with a dark-theme version. This has become very popular for many users of smart-phones. In short, this signal great attention to UI/UX.
People will be able to meet online other people with the same interests and interact with them. And perhaps meet up in real life. One of the goals of the app is to create a venue for people to meet up and geek their interests. And not be divided by who they are in family with, friends with or which newspaper they like (as the algorithm on Facebook sadly contributes to). There’s plenty of chances to interact with these kinds. But Halo would like to get people with different backgrounds together based on a shared interest. This is one of the strengths, but also the weaknesses of the app
Cause people generally use social media to connect with people they already know. And would like to stay in touch with. The concept of the app will challenge that to a large degree. Perhaps it’s the right time for this. And perhaps Halo will manage to target some that usually don’t use social media that much cause the app would not be “friend”-based but “interest”based”. Which is part of the vision of the app. To create a more inclusive space.
How the actual interactions and communications in-app are is yet to be revealed. But it will be possible to read each others public posts within a specific interest (the Icons - fx Gaming, Fine Dining etc.) and it will be possible to communicate directly between users after both parties has accepted to be “friends”. You are however only “matched” with people that share the same interest as you.
And lots of features is probably still in the designing- and/or decision phase. The beta-version is planned to be released soon. No specific date has however been published. Nor is a specific day for the crowdfunding-campaign been published. But users on the beta-version will most likely have some influence on the further development of the app.
The cost of using it
As stipulated earlier the maker of the app are not going to sell user data to fund the app. So what will fund it? According to the whitepaper users will. Partly the companies that would like to use the app and partly users that would like to have more features (fx more icons - each user is limited to 8 icons). Both parties - companies and regular users - can also buy the token to interact with each other. So basically there seem to be two types of “subscription” a freemium and a premium.
The success of the app is very much based on the success of attracting users in general. But also users that would like to use it more than the freemium-version lets them do. And companies that would like to interact with the regular users.
There’s two (or three) types of competition to be aware of cause the app is targeting two (or three) different types of users.
there’s the regular social media apps - Facebook being the largest. There’s other social media apps being build on the Tron Network there’s social media apps build on other blockchains.
In all three areas the competition is fierce. Halo states in the whitepaper that being build fully on the blockchain is “a potential consideration for future development”. On other blockchains there’s other solutions. Steemit being of the larger ones. Most so far has been criticized on UI/UX. The “normal” social media platforms could also get closer to the blockchain world. The CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, might implement crypto-tipping features on Twitter.
However, there’s also different kinds of social media-platforms. And Halo is not to be compared to Twitter. And there will be room for many different platforms. The success of the project would not be to beat the big ones. But to have a substantial amount of regular users to build on. And perhaps there’s a space here. Especially based on the criticism of mainly Facebook. On the other hand the lack of success for Google+ could also signal some saturation in the market.
Halo is targeting the global market, but will probably begin with concentrating on the English-speaking areas. It will though be launched in several languages. And Halo will be targeting both people within the Tron community (and cryptocurrency at large) and people outside the “filter bubble” of cryptocurrency. With that in mind the app has the potential to introduce the world of cryptocurrency to a larger group in a low-key way.
The app and blockchain
A central aspect of the project is of course it’s connection to the blockchain. As of now Halo is not built on the Tron blockchain, but is implementing the Tron blockchain for financial interactions (ie. the tipping).
The token The Halo Social Meetup-Token (HALO) is the token to be used in-app. People that knows Robominer and GoSeedit features of Telegram and similar features on Twitter will know the core concept of how it will be used. The reason for launching a token for the app is primarily to help fund the app (as mentioned earlier) - it always is.
When buying the token, you are not buying a part of the company and is not getting any dividends. So you would primarily buy to use it in the app or for a possible increase of the value of the token after buying.
When the app is launched and the tipping-function is launched the company would need to set up a way to ensure liquidity for people to be interested in using the token. Would you be happy getting tipped with a token, there’s no use for? Either people need to be able to cash out easily or be able to use the token to pay for “real things” in stores, cafées or perhaps an in-app store. This isn’t the first app with this concept. Many different apps has tried to create an in-app token that people later can exchange for special offers, coupons or other tokens/currencies. Halo’s plan so far is that people are able to buy Halo-merchandise with the tokens.
So while it’s not yet completely clear how Halo is going to tackle this issue there’s possible solutions. With some mixed success.
Besides the Halo-token that are to be used in-platform the team has now created a Halo Dividend Token (HDT). This token will be distributed between any holder of at least 10,000 (ten thousand)Halo-tokens (for every extra 10K Halo-token you hold you will be eligable to recieve an extra HDT - meaning if you hold 100K Halo-tokens you will recieve 10 HDT). The purpose of the token is probably to generate an extra incentive to people to support the project and to show gratitude to early adopters. By having HDT you as an individual will have an incentive to try to push for adoption of the app, because holding the HDT will generate possible revenue. This kind of an incentive-scheme is relatively simple. On the long run it will probably not effect the value of the Halo-token as it looks like the free airdrop of HDT is a one-time event at July 15th 2019 for those early adopters and investors.
Halo Social Meetup is an ambitious endeavor. There’s sharp competition in the field. Both locally in the different regions of the world and globally. And both within the blockchain-universe and in general. Whether this app and the project have the chance to make it - only time will tell. But having said that it seems like it’s getting some trajectory and building some excitement around on *cough**cough* another social media platform Twitter. But especially within the Tron community and the fringes of this.