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July 22, 2014

Alibaba rolls out Instagram-like social network

A second attempt at creating a social network.

By CBR Staff Writer

Ecommerce major Alibaba has rolled out ‘Fun’- an Instagram-like social network based around tagging brands appearing in users’ photos.

Created as part of the e-commerce firm’s second attempt at making a mobile-only social network, the new platform is integrated into its Tmall shopping app and being rolled out as an update for iOS and Android users.

In order to use it, users need to snap a photo, tag the brands they are in and share it within Fun, and even to other social networks including Sina Weibo or Alibaba’s Laiwang messaging app.

‘Fun’ app users can also follow brands plus friends or random people, and a brand’s page within the app turns up as a compilation of images tagged with that brand, Tech in Asia reported.

The latest mobile-only social networking app joins already existing Chinese platforms of its kind including Pinco and Nice, two competing apps which tag brands in selfies, in addition to ‘In’.

Prior to ‘Fun’, the Chinese e-commerce company launched Laiwang, which did not take off as hoped, with it failing to gain traction and falling well short of its goal of surpassing WeChat.

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Alibaba is reportedly planning to float its highly-anticipated IPO by the end of July, in what is claimed to be ‘one of the largest in history’, raising up to $20bn for the company.

Originally, Alibaba filed for an IPO in May, with initial estimates valuing the deal at around $245bn, which would make it one of the biggest floatations ever seen by the market.

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