On the HelloTalk website, it says that their mission is to "connect the world through language, culture, and community."
HelloTalk is a messenger app for your mobile phone (iOS and Android) and you can use it to connect you with native speakers of the language you are learning.
Unlike language teaching apps, like Duolingo, it doesn't actually teach you the language. You use it to practise speaking with a language partner and you can find people to practice with anywhere in the world.
You start by entering your native language and the language you want to learn.
If you want to practise more than one language, you have to pay for the premium plan, but for one language it's free. However, you have to put up with the ads, the advertisements.
You find a partner by filtering by location, gender, language level and your level of fluency.
If you use the free version, you can start new conversations with up to 8 different people each day, but only in one target language. Monthly VIP subscription is $6.99.
HelloTalk has an instant translation function, but it's based on Google translate and it's not always accurate so this may cause a breakdown in communication.
You can correct text mistakes for your partner, and vice versa, so this is helpful for improving writing. However, the text-to-speech function is also Google translate so it sounds a bit like a robot.
HelloTalk is basically a messaging app, so you can send photos, videos and short voice messages. You can also share posts called "moments", just like Facebook!
So, why not just use Facebook? Well, that’s a good question! On the plus side, HelloTalk is full of people, just like you, who want to improve their language skills. One drawback is that HelloTalk constantly tries to upsell you to the premium plan.
Think of HelloTalk as a language-learning social network. There are some people on it that use it as a dating app. You've been warned! You can use the filter to restrict it to 'same gender' or 'Japanese only'.
Check out HelloTalk here: https://www.hellotalk.com/  

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