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Ulfa herself shies away from calling Azar a dating app

Many people don’t want to say they’ve met their partner on a dating app, Abolfathi explained, but something like Azar might not have the same negative association, since it’s not really akin to, say, Tinder

If you don’t pay for those add-ons, you’ll easily find yourself chatting with someone on another continent. Prince said that, aside from people in Turkey, he’s spoken to users in Hong Kong, Thailand, India, and France. Part of the novelty of Azar is the ability to flirt across borders: The app has embedded Google Translate’s API, which allows speakers of different languages to send translated messages in real time.

“Spending time on Azar is [a way of] coping with stress for me, as I’m in the middle of finishing my thesis,” said Ulfa, a graduate student from Indonesia’s South Sulawesi province, who heard about the app from a close friend and asked to use only her first name for privacy reasons. She’s rarely connected with other users in Indonesia, talking instead to foreigners who help her practice English. “Most of the users on live video here are Turkish men,” she said.

Hyperconnect is based in Seoul, but 99% of Azar’s user base is outside of South Korea, according to the company. That makes the app one of only a few Korean social media platforms to prioritize international users. While official demographics are not publicly available, the app’s public paigns, interviews with users, and hours spent on the platform suggest some of Azar’s main markets include Turkey, India, the Gulf states, and Southeast Asia.

On YouTube, for example, Azar’s official channel has published dozens of promotional videos in Turkish, including one that garnered more than 38 million views. Continua a leggere