Chinese companies are notorious for copying the handiwork of others, but when a company in America copies China, it is a sad thing indeed.
Everyone in China knows Momo, a popular platform for making friends (ahem) nearby. Wonderful things happen when new people come together on portable devices, and after a quick download and a few uploaded photos, Momo connects you with people in your area of all shapes, sizes, and orientations. Sounds great right? The only thing is it appears that TalkJet, an American company based in Sunnyvale, CA, is providing almost identical software.
Let’s take a look at a rough comparison of their interfaces* (Momo left, TalkJet right):
The translation of the top menu of Momo is almost verbatim: from left to right “Nearby” and “Sort” with an additional tiling option. But if you want to get a true sense of how identical they are, the bottom menu is completely copied, with “Nearby, Messages, Profile and Settings” tiled from left to right. Momo adds only a “Good Friends” button in the middle. The main difference between the two is that Momo has richer content: the search results also include age, log-in time, and profession.
What is more striking–though maybe not surprising–is that the company might be owned by a Chinese-American. After some quick research on TalkJet’s parent company Payzeno, Inc., CorporationWiki shows that as of May, the president of the company was named Letian Liu.
TalkJet is a relatively new product, only recently released on the App Store this August. The company describes its product as a way to connect “travelers, foreigners, potential friends, and interesting strangers nearby,” according to its App Store description. But even if the target demographic is slightly different, the similarity is uncanny.
Note that Momo has been in existence since 2009.
*There is a certain degree of error since I am using an Android phone for Momo, and TalkJet is currently only available on iOS. I’d be interested to know if someone wants to test this on iOS.
Comparison pictures: Momo (myself), TalkJet (App Store)