17 is a free mobile app similar to Periscope and Instagram designed by a Taiwan pop singer Jeffery Huang. It includes live video streaming, instant photo and video sharing functions. It is used in both iOS and Android smartphone systems.
The aim of 17 app is to create an "easy to use, instant to share, customer equality and interest sharing" content sharing platform. It was first launched in Apple App Store on 5 June 2015, and sooner in Play Store on 10 June 2015. and 28 September 2015 (Apple App Store) respectively. Recently, the app has been re-released in Apple App Store on 28 October 2015
Since the app featured many Asian celebrities and profit sharing incentives it then quickly became the most popular app in Taiwan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia with approximately 700 thousand daily active users.
Jeffrey Huang (黃立成), a Taiwanese American, was a former member of a well-known Taiwan hip-hop group, the “L.A. Boyz”.He is the Leader of the Taiwan hip-hop group currently, Machi.Jeffrey was born to a family in Huwei Township, Yunlin County, Taiwan on 7 November 1972. When he was two, his family migrated to California, USA. Finding no interest in studying, he did not go for advanced education in college, but went back to his place of birth – Taiwan, to start his music career with his younger brother, Stanley Huang (黃立行) and his cousin, Steven Lam (林智文).
In 1998, Jeffrey Huang set up an internet service provider company aimed at translating websites in the US. The company had 80 workers at its peak and gained about 7 million US dollars profit. He then sold the company to a Japan company during the times of “Dot-com Bubble”. The close down of his first company marked the start of his IT business.
17 app allows users to post photos and videos in their album[DG1] and broadcast live. The private setting inside can be used to allow only permitted users have the right to access to it. Users can follow each other to track the recent status.
Facebook Mentions (Facebook app) only allows approved fans pages to have a live broadcast, which are usually owned by celebrities. All users in the 17 app can enjoy the live broadcast function, and even earn money according to the number of viewers. They can earn $1 USD for every thousand of viewers.(for example, if there are 1000 viewers watching your live broadcast, you can earn $1 USD)17 will recommend photos or videos, based on the users searching history. However, Facebook users have to find photos and videos by themselves, without any suggestions.
Both apps allow interaction between broadcasters and viewers, such as posting comments. Users can like and comment on the photos and videos in both apps.
Compared with Instagram
17 and Instagram both share a similar interface, such as displaying of photos and videos, place for like and comment and the personal page design. These two apps have similar functions and features as well, except the live broadcast function is only available in the 17 app.
Some members from the local social community dating app – 17 have violated the users’ regulations of the app and broadcast sexual intercourse process through the app. These unauthorized broadcasting lives attracted over millions of audience to watch. Netizens revealed a male user had broadcast the bathing process of his younger sister. The founder of the 17 app – Jeffery Huang, claimed broadcast would be stopped and the user’s account would be deleted if they received any complaints. Also, they responded they would have a stricter supervision system, so as to avoid similar incidents from happening.
The extremely popular 17 app was downloaded by 13 million people, even though thought it was just placed on the Play Store for three months. It became the top 1 in the USA free apps downloading from the Apple app store ranking. However, some users broadcast indecent content, hoping to become more popular, which indicates the lack of supervision in the app.
In earlier days, the app was removed from Android Play Store. Google expressed that apps which do not follow the agreement and regulations would be removed. Then it was not allowed to be downloaded from Apple App Store as well. However, existing users were still able to use and people can still download the 17 app through “pCloud”, even it is not available in the app stores.
Jamie Lin appreciated that a lot of revisions and improvements have been made to the app. Therefore, it became popular in different countries like Indonesia and even the United States. The Internet is full of indecent content which the app has been susceptible to hosting and subject to numerous complaints. The app had been removed because of this. However, the app definitely catches the characteristics of social media and the internet, is a world-class social app and supports should be given to it.
He pointed out that one of the advantages of app 17 is that its interface is similar to Instagram so it is easy to use. Continuous streaming of photos, videos and Live Video can let people dream of being a celebrity, which attracts more people to join and do sharing. But most Live Videos' quality is below standard. It is hard to find one that is suitable for watching continuously.
Secretary for ECPAT Taiwan – Miss Li Lai Fun
She pointed out that if obscene contents are found in the app, authorities would punish them and force them to improve the app based on the law. Dealers are responsible for the incidents about app 17. If someone’s views increase drastically, dealers should check immediately and block the account if indecent contents are found. She also said the police should investigate officially and take actions about this app.