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Orkut founder’s new social media app Hello enters India; first impressions

While social network giant Facbook is going through an unrest, a social media app called ‘Hello’ which is founded by Orkut’s founder Orkut Buyukkokten, has marked its entry in India. Quoting the founder, this PTI reports says that Hello was started in Brazil in July 2016 and that about 35,000 users were a part of its beta testing in the Indian market.

Once very popular, Google-owned Orkut had shut down back in 2014. Launched in 2004, Orkut was among the most visited website in Brazil and India for a while. It’s demise in India started around 2008, when more people started shifting to Facebook due to its privacy features (Oh irony: then, and now). The demise of Orkut has happened in slow motion, over half a decade. The tipping point came when Facebook started tying up with Indian companies. At that point Facebook was claiming it had 3.2 million active users in India. while Orkut was claiming to have 13 million users here. By the time Google started pointing out the importance of setting up a presence on Orkut to companies, it made more sense for them to concentrate on Facebook, Twitter and Google’s video network YouTube.

First Impressions

As you open the app after installing, it shows get started and sign in options. On getting started, it takes you to a page in which you require to select your ‘passion’. There are too many to select from coffee lover, to bollywood fan, to filmmaker, dancer, entrepreneur so-on-and-so-fourth. To move ahead, you need to select atleast five passions. Without creating an account, the app then started showing me posts of my interest from other users, on which a user can comment and like. The app has content available in five languages including English and Hindi.  The process of creating an account on the app, in terms of user interface, is uncluttered and extremely easy-to-use. The app feels like a of mix of Pinterest and Instagram. We will update the post if we decide to fiddle more with the app. So far, we did not find it very unique or engaging.

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