From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Zello Inc
IndustryMobile application development
Key people
Bill Moore, CEO
Alexey Gavrilov, CTO
Number of employees
41 [1]

Zello is an application startup located in Austin, Texas, behind the creation of Zello applications. The applications emulate push-to-talk (PTT) walkie-talkies over cell phone networks.


Alexey Gavrilov developed the product originally called Loudtalks which was announced at the TechCrunch 40 Mobile and Communications Conference on September 17, 2007.[2] Zello acquired the Loudtalks technology, rebranded, moved the development team to Austin, added apps and announced June 20, 2012.[3] Bill Moore is the CEO and Gavrilov is CTO. Moore founded and was CEO of TuneIn where Gavrilov and his team created popular TuneIn applications.

Zello made the news in June 2013 when Turkish protesters used it to circumvent government censors.[4] As a result, Zello was the top most downloaded application in Turkey during the first week of June 2013.[5]

In February 2014, it was blocked by CANTV in Venezuela. Zello issued workarounds and patches to overcome the blocks to support approximately 600,000 Venezuelans who have downloaded the application to communicate with each other amidst protests.[6] It "has been one of the most downloaded applications in Ukraine and Venezuela."[7]

In July 2017, in Latvia, Zello was the main application which was used by thousands of volunteers and rescuers for communication purposes while looking for Ivans Berladins who went missing.

In August 2017 during relief efforts following Hurricane Harvey in Texas, Zello became a popular method for communications between volunteer rescuers - particularly members of the Cajun Navy - and people stranded by the widespread flooding.[8][9] The app received over 6 million signups in one week as Florida residents prepared for Hurricane Irma.[10]

Once again in September 2018, while Hurricane Florence was causing unprecedented flooding in the Carolinas, rescuers used Zello to request information on street conditions and the locations of people needing help.[11]


Zello is an instant communication app to exchange short audio messages. It simulates traditional two-way radios, with a walkie-talkie style of communication. The app allows to talk one-on-one to a single person or in a channel with a group of people, and offers additional features such as history, replay last message, notifications and Bluetooth device support.[12]

Zello users can create channels and give control to other Zello users to become moderators. New York Times' technology columnist David Pogue describes Zello's channels, "Like most of the best applications, Zello lets you create groups so that you can carry on something like a party-line phone call among a handful—or hundreds—of friends or collaborators."[13]

Once a channel is created, channels can appear on the "Trending" list and creators can assign additional moderators to keep their created channels safe. Though available for Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Blackberry, Zello can also be accessed from a Windows PC computer with the Zello for Windows PC.[13] For other smart phone operating systems (e.g. Sailfish OS) there are Zello-compatible apps provided by third parties.[14]

Zello Work is the paid service of Zello app that allows corporates and users looking for real-time communication over groups and channels. Zello Work is different than Zello however owned by the same company.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  2. ^ Riley, D. (September 17, 2007).TechCrunch 40 Session 2: Mobile & Communications. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  3. ^ Perez, S. (June 20, 2012). "Voice Chat App Voxer Gets New Competition From Zello." Techcrunch. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  4. ^ Arthur, C. (June 4, 2013)."Turkish protesters using encryption software to evade censors." The Guardian. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  5. ^ (June 2, 2013).Zello Walkie Talkie Daily Ranks. App Annie. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  6. ^ Zhang, S. (February 25, 2014)."The Mobile App Driving Venezuela's Anti-Government Protests." Gizmodo. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  7. ^ Burke, S. (February 24, 2014.) "Protesters in Venezuela, Ukraine turn to peer-to-peer messaging app." CNN. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  8. ^ On Roads Turned Waterways, Volunteers Improvise to Save the Trapped and Desperate, Manny Fernandez, New York Times, August 29, 2017
  9. ^ Hartman, H. (September 7, 2017) "I downloaded an app. And suddenly, was part of the Cajun Navy." Houston Chronicle. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  10. ^ Bhuiyan, Johana (September 10, 2017). "This walkie talkie app got six million new users in one week as Florida prepared for Hurricane Irma". Recode. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  11. ^ Healy, Jack; Fink, Sheri (September 15, 2018). "Torrents of Water in Towns Across the Carolinas. And a Guy With a Boat". New York Times. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  12. ^ Hodgkins, K. (May 9, 2013)."Zello lets you chat walkie-talkie style with friends, co-workers.". Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  13. ^ a b Pogue, D. (September 5, 2012)."Smartphone? Presto! 2-Way Radio." The New York Times. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  14. ^ NRad, (April 30, 2020) an experimental Zello Client for SailfishOS
  15. ^ "How does Zello Work differ from the free Zello app?". Zello Help Center. Retrieved April 19, 2020.

External links[edit]