MUMBAI: Reliance Jio Infocomm, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), has launched its first service in the form of messenger app Jio Chat as part of its larger rollout plan for 4G service. Jio Chat, which is completely free and ad free, has features like instant messaging, free SMS, voice and video calling. The free SMS has been capped at 100 per month. The app, which is available on both Android and iOS platforms, allows users to chat in groups, enjoy the text features like stickers, emoticons, doodles, media share, location share, and more. It also offers the latest news, updates, and special promotions through Jio Chat Channels for which it has tied up with brands like HTC, Hotstar, Paytm, Reliance Digital, and Mumbai Indians, which is owned by RIL. Users can send free SMS invites to friends to join Jio Chat. The app automatically syncs contacts. While the app offers location and status sharing, users can simply turn the feature off if they want to ensure privacy. It also stores messages when the connection is interrupted and forwards them once the person is back online. Jio Chat will compete with other messaging and calling apps like WhatsApp, WeChat, and Line Messenger. WhatsApp, which is the big daddy with 80 million users, has in recent times enriched its offering by adding new features like audio recording and voice call options. According to Citi Research, the telco wants Jio Chat to eventually become a single platform for users by integrating voice, messaging, entertainment and e-commerce into a single app. Next on the anvil is Jio Play, an app that will offer television channels.
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