planetgogo

Planet GoGo, a lock screen/news snippets app, has introduced Gujarati and Telugu news content on its platform. The feature will let users access news in these regional languages in categories like food, technology, health and wellness, from the lock screen. The company had launched Hindi news a month ago, and plans to introduce Punjabi, Tamil and Malayalam soon.

Note that in December last year, Planet GoGo raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from HT Media’s subsidiary HT Digital Media Holdings and North Base Media (NBM). The startup had said then that it would use the funds for acquiring users.

Founded in September last year, Planet GoGo launched its Android app the subsequent month. Rather than just unlock, the app lets users read the latest news on the lock screen without unlocking. Users can swipe through to read more stories, or swipe the unlock button to get to their home screens. As of now the app claims to have 42 content sources although it does not clarify which these sources are.

Interestingly the app also gives reward points for reading stories and unlocking the phone. These points can be then accumulated over time to buy talktime recharges with Airtel, Vodafone, Aircel, BSNL, Tata Indicom, Uninor and Videocon among other operators. However, the app doesn’t seem to be quite polished yet, as most negative ratings it received in the Play Store complained about being unable to redeem these points.

Other developments: The past year or so 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:

– In December, Catch news launched a Hindi version of the website.

– In October, Times Internet launched a new regional language news and entertainment portal called Samayam in Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu.

– In November, Inshorts launched a Hindi interface for its Android app. At the time it said that it would expand to other regional languages including Marathi, Tamil and Kannada by mid 2016.

– In September, Hike Messenger started aggregating Hindi news stories and said that it would roll out the feature for other regional languages as well.

– In August, Way2News app launched with news snippets in Telugu, Hindi and English.

– In January last year, 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.