Zello Celebrates 100 Million Users!

By Nancy on February 1, 2017


It took us almost 9 years to do it, but Zello registered users now exceed 100,000,000! We are very proud and excited about this achievement and want to share it with our Zello fans. Without the support generated through word-of-mouth by our users, we could not have attained this major milestone.

A Little Zello Trivia

Zello started out as “Loudtalks” in Russia back in 2007. The original Loudtalks application was designed for Windows PC, and allowed users to communicate instantly with friends by pushing and holding a hot key. You can still get Zello for Windows from our website. After the official launch on September 17, 2007 at the TechCrunch40 Conference in San Francisco, the service retained a low profile with about 10,000 registered users in the first three months. While traction was slow, the team kept improving the product and introducing new features, all while running the service from a single $200/month server hosted in Houston, TX at ThePlanet.

Everything changed with the release of Loudtalks for Blackberry. It was the first voice communications app on that platform, providing free push-to-talk (PTT) using any carrier network or WiFi. The Loudtalks Blackberry app drew over two million users within the first three weeks of its launch. The little side project was now a full-blown startup venture.

In early 2012, the Loudtalks team permanently relocated to Austin, TX where Loudtalks was rebranded and relaunched as Zello that February. Bill Moore (former founder and the CEO of TuneIn Radio) became the CEO of the newly incorporated, U.S. based company. From the original team of three in 2007, Zello has grown to a team of 16 – still small considering the size of Zello’s user base. Only eight developers support over 100 million users worldwide.

Zello adds ZelloWork, Hardware Vendors, and Software Developer Program

In addition to the free consumer app, we have a paid subscription service called ZelloWork. ZelloWork provides PTT solutions for enterprise and mid-size businesses around the world; it is rapidly becoming the go-to solution for businesses trying to update antiquated radio systems. Major companies such as Starwood, Marriott, W Hotels, Restoration Hardware, IKEA, YRC Freight, Hubspot, and Honda use ZelloWork.

Zello has worked with numerous hardware vendors to offer our users a wide selection of hands-free and enhanced audio solutions. See Zello Accessories for the full list of supported accessories. In addition, Zello has recently added an ISV Developer Program. Third party developers can now integrate ZelloWork into their own apps using SDKs and APIs available from the ZelloWork Developer Program.

Our Users are our Priority

Since its launch, Zello has remained totally free, ad-free and spam-free – and we plan to keep it that way. As we expand and improve our products and services, Zello will continue to remain focused on optimizing the user experience, ensuring a high-quality product, and providing top-notch support. We love hearing from our fans who are using Zello for good causes. Whether it’s connecting people with similar goals/ideologies, reducing crime in neighborhoods, or rescuing people during natural disasters, we are proud that Zello has been chosen to be part of these efforts.

If you are using Zello to improve your community, or have any suggestions on how to take Zello to the next milestone of 1 billion users, we’d love to hear from you! You can send suggestions to info@zello.com or support@zello.com.

Thanks for the Zello Love!

Zello Works Where Traditional Radios Fail

By Nancy on April 22, 2016

Last week, we got a very nice note from a member of the San Bernadino County Sheriff’s Cave and Technical Rescue Team (caverescue.net, sbsar.org). He explained how Zello was used in a recent search and rescue (SAR) mission. They were looking for possible human remains located in a mine shaft about 400 feet deep. When they lowered a person with a VHF radio down the shaft to investigate, the team on top realized they could not communicate with the person down in the shaft. The opening was too small relative to the wavelength of the radios, and their VHF radios were useless in that environment.

Since the team knew Zello worked with WiFi, and they had already established a WiFi hotspot on top, the team decided to try a little experiment. They decided to try Zello instead. They were surprised to find that it worked flawlessly! By lowering the person with a smartphone and Zello installed, he was able to maintain communication with the entire team.

“Amazingly we were able to maintain contact to about the 350 foot level. I was astonished! This is not an RF-friendly environment.”

We love hearing stories like this from our users. If you’ve had a similar experience where Zello saved the day when radios failed, drop us a line! Here are a couple pictures of that SAR mission:

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Team at top of mine shaft

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Going down with Zello onboard