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Whether you are the marketer or business entrepreneur, when it comes to the research about rapid raising Vietnamese economic market, you once might have wondered “what is the most popular messaging application now in the country”.

After taking short moments in reading this page, you will become an expert in Zalo – Vietnamese No1 shared messaging application with clearer viewpoints in its’ brilliant all-in-one features along by understanding them with real-life based use cases.

Thus do let’s not miss this out!


So what is Zalo?

‘Zalo’ is launched a decade ago back in 2012 by one of the most popular Vietnamese IT companies today, VNG Corporation.

Yes, the app is developed in Vietnam by Vietnamese, well designed for Vietnamese, and it’s been downloaded over hundred million times which turning Zalo as a leading messaging app such as similar as LINE, WhatsApp, WeChat in your home country.

Getting you into a closer look, Zalo is now (on Dec 2022)*1 beaming up to the top downloaded app within communication app sector in Vietnam, which is more than Messenger and Telegram, and among the social media app category*2, the numbers of use time of Zalo is positioned at 2nd lank after Facebook followed by Youtube.

The app is now expanding its fame not only through the nation but also to neighboring countries such as Thailand and Philippine, and vast global market is looking on its’ move and growth without blinks.

So what makes this Zalo so outstanding?

Let’s crack the reasons behind one by one.


The reasons why Zalo is so popular in Vietnam

The data*3 is already revealed that 80% of Vietnamese smartphone users had installed Zalo app to their mobile phones, while Messenger app remains as 70%.

Why Zalo is so necessary for Vietnamese?

I, the author, as a happy active Zalo user who have been a resident in Vietnam already for a year and an half, strongly suppose that the answers to our question are as below.

  • User friendliness: easy and simple registration, easy to operate
  • Connection: easy to engage and connect to the others, maintain the circle easily online
  • Multi-functionality: useful in everyday life
  • Business functionality 

The most common use of Zalo is messaging, as usually seen in every communication apps, however Zalo is more than messaging tool and it is kind of a super integration of other useful existing apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook, and PayPay which makes this Zalo a powerful all-in-one application.

Combined of multi-functioned features of different useful apps enrich the UX, and users can find a convenience flow in Zalo as a must daily life infrastructure.

So now imagine you are having a life in Vietnam with us and enjoy picturing how can Zalo brighten your everyday life here in following discovery.


How Zalo can be such helpful and useful in everyday life

First of all, as foreigners we should definitely check up on the language availability, and frankly at this moment only English and Vietnamese are available through the app (some features are only available in Vietnamese).

Luckily non-English native users can still download and register as users with their own international phone numbers, so not being in land of Vietnam they can still start communicating with Vietnamese.

This let many foreign users can engage with Vietnamese easily and start building a network without flying to Vietnam, and it sounds great right?


Basic features

Standard points are almost same with other messaging apps such as normal calling, video calling, and messaging.

Additionally Zalo let users send out a maximum 5-minute voice message at once in a high speed and this is quite friendly when the users have difficulties in typing texts or in case of preferring a long voice explanation.


Useful features and how to use

Unique feature in message

Many unique features in Zalo are quite interesting to be discovered.

Let’s unearth them with real-life use cases of Vietnamese people!

Features below can be used at messaging in and out.


Just like a Google calendar’s reminder feature, the user get notified for pre-set plans where the user registered with certain contact or other group members within message.

This can be quite convenient for business communication, and as a significant surprising factor, the user is able to choose the calendar either from Vietnamese Lunar calendar or Gregorian calendar!

Instant Message

Literally this tool helps user to send pre-customized message such as commonly used response or phrase just in one click.

The best part is that Zalo allows user to register maximum 1500 words text, and not only words but also pictures.

As you may noticed already, Zalo has such kind userfriendly features which attract lots of Vietnamese elderlies who may be not used to typing culture, same as you saw in voice message feature.


Now here in doodling feature, the user is able to picture whatever he/she wants in own style and shape to communicate with others beyond the text and voice message.

Sounds cool enough already?

Timeline for everyday needs

As mentioned already earlier, Zalo is all-in-one convenience platform, to remember.

In the timeline space for Zalo, the users can enjoy sharing their daily lives or memories in photos/ videos/ texts and this allows the user to interact with all connected contacts, in very similar way with Facebook and Instagram.

We won’t still surprise with basic timeline feature, but here in Zalo the user can easily adjust and customize text fonts and colors to own favor so it is so fun that many Vietnamese users use this feature as daily blogging.



Font customization in timeline

In Vietnam now, this timeline is also popular for the platform as CtoC/ BtoC style sell-and-buy space.

The individual sellers from local boutique brands to Japanese grocery shops the user can add favorite seller-contacts and can browse latest products in the timeline.

I also personally often directly connect to the sellers, and it is so easy to order everyday necessary items in this way.

Digital pay

‘Zalo pay’ allows us a mobile payment, and ‘Pay Bills’ is meant to pay public utilities.


GPS in Zalo brings the user much closer to the local businesses through “Nearby” feature.

In the map at Nearby, the users an easily find out where they and the surrounding points or shops near them, and they can directly contact to their zalo accounts where bring them to the start line of the direct message.

Without mentioning, Vietnamese love the simplicity, speed, and direct contact so that the feature such as this came to realize.

Holistic UX: Flow in one app

There is nothing convenience than being directly in touch with sellers and shops for the speedy purchase in shopping, and it is safe and trouble-free more than you imagine in case of Vietnam.

The user can discover new in timeline, connect with seller, start communicating and order, get delivered the item, complete the payment, and if you have any concerns you can always quickly check the status and details with sellers.

It is perfectly holistic app in a view of user experience, isn’t it?

I think now you are getting there imagining yourself living in Vietnam using Zalo.

Zalo for business

Well, you know what is the daily use of Zalo for Vietnamese people now, so let’s continue to business use case.

Still many countries prefer to classify the use between private and business matters, but here it is not the case.



Key messages and plans are highlighted on top, and polls are easily available.

Vietnamese exchange and save business contacts in Zalo

It depends on a business size, but in general Vietnamese do not hesitate to exchange business contacts and save them and communicate in Zalo, and when it comes to sales or BtoC matter the frequency is high as you guess.

Unlikely to Japanese who prefer business communication through the standard mail system, for instance, Vietnamese prefer using Zalo message or Zalo call to catch up speedy.

Desktop ver Zalo for

In Vietnam, Zalo desktop version is still possibly accepted for business use besides Chatwork and Slack.

One of the feature which is integrated with Google drive let us share the documents easily.

Also task creation is available like other business communication applications.



This blog had unearthed the reasons of why Zalo is so popular and important for Vietnamese daily life, and how the app is attractively both useful for private and business.

I do hope having a closer understanding into Vietnamese culture and real life helped you to imagine the realistic view of Zalo.

Not only to Vietnamese but also to foreigner residents like myself are difficult now to think of a life here without Zalo which is more than just a simple messaging tool, and in that way you know how powerful this super app is.

We, ALIVE Vietnam, keep delivering the top-notch and latest information about Vietnamese market, so please keep tuned.




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