Zalo announced several days ago that it would update to a new version on August 1. The special characteristic of the new version is that the developer may restrict some features on the app.

At the same time, Zalo has launched Zalo OA, a paid version with fees of VND10,000-399,000 a month.  

A survey in Q4 2021 conducted by Decision Lab found that 48 percent of polled people, when asked which apps they use to communicate with relatives, said they use Zalo. The figure is much higher than the 27 percent for Facebook and 20 percent for Messenger.

At present, Zalo remains one of the apps for communications with the highest numbers of users in Vietnam. The report from Decision Lab also pointed out that Zalo is the only Vietnamese developed platform which can compete equally with international tech giants.

However, the situation may see changes because of the rumor that Zalo might collect fees from users.

On some forums and social networking sites, many people say they would give up Zalo if the app collects fees.

Nguyen Viet Cuong, an office worker in Hanoi, said if Zalo collects fees, this would bring opportunities to other messaging apps to lure users. He said that he would quit Zalo and shift to another app if this occurs.

Nguyen Van Thuan in HCM City agreed with Cuong, saying that there are many messaging apps like Zalo available in the market. If Zalo restricts some features, other apps will emerge as there are many choices.

Meanwhile, other people supported the fee collection plan. Tran Gia The in Hanoi said Zalo’s adjustments and new updates do not have much impact on most users. 

“The people who regularly send messages with strangers are mostly marketing officers and customer consultants. They make money from Zalo and they have to pay for the service they use,” The said.

Nguyen Mai Lan from Hanoi, who sells goods online, and has to keep regular contact with customers, also supports the fee collection policy, though she will be affected by the new policy.

“Zalo developers deserve credit for developing the platform and they have the right to collect fees from those who do business on the platform,” Lan said.

She said that she would continue to use Zalo instead of other messaging apps if Zalo sets reasonable fees.

Trong Dat