News curator app Inshorts has launched a Hindi interface for its Android app. The platform mentions that it will expand to other regional languages including Marathi, Tamil and Kannada by mid 2016. With this launch, the company said it is looking to increase its presence in tier 2 cities.
The company mentions that it will recruit over 100 content writers for Hindi by the first quarter of next year. On installing, the app currently offers to set the default language as Hindi or English. On selecting Hindi, the app only loads stories shortened from Hindi websites. The interface is also completely in Hindi. Switching back to English is pretty straightforward taking only two taps from any screen.
Just like the English counterpart, the Hindi section lists news stories only from native language news sites, that is to say English news content is not available in Hindi or vice versa. As of now, the app claims to have over 3 million downloads, mostly from tier 1 cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune and Chennai. According to the company, its looking to reach to over 5 million users by April next year, especially from smaller cities, by localising the app in Indic languages.
Increase in Indic adoption: This year has been particularly good for Indic language users, especially Hindi users, as companies have increasingly started offering their digital content in Hindi and other Indic languages:
– Earlier this month, Truecaller started transliterating names to Hindi.
– In September, Hike Messenger started aggregating Hindi news stories and said that it would roll out the feature for other regional languages as well.
– The same month Google introduced voice typing and input for Google Docs on Chrome browser in Hindi and 39 other languages.
– In August, Way2News app launched with news snippets in Telugu, Hindi and English.
– In January, Twitter started providing Hindi and Urdu translations through Bing, Google introduced lane guidance for Indian roads in Hindi and Asus added Hindi & Tamil support to its Android keyboard.
Retention.ai acquisition: Last month, Inshorts acquired Bangalore/Palo Alto-based BetaGlide, the company which offers Retention.ai, a product that helps developers track uninstalled users, draw insights based on user experience and improve user retention. The company said it would use the acquisition to roll-out features like a recommendation engine, an in-house data analytics team etc.
Inshorts funding: In July, Inshorts, then known as News In shorts, raised $20 million from Tiger Global in a Series B funding. In February, it raised $4 million through a Series A round of funding. It had also received funding of Rs 10 lakhs (for 10% stake) while being part of TLabs’ fourth startup batch in September 2013.
Started in August 2013 by Azhar Iqubal, Deepit Purkayastha and Anunay Arunav, Inshorts aggregates news across various categories and offers 60-word summaries to its users along with a link to the original article.