Mumbai, Apr 12: At a time when the ‘Delete Facebook’ movement is gaining pace, Orkut founder is back in India with a new avatar of the great old social networking site in the form of ‘Hello’. Orkut Buyukkokten, a former Google employee who founded Orkut.com over a decade ago, on Wednesday launched the social networking app ‘Hello’ in India. The app comes at a time when Facebook is seen losing its credibility over the data leak controversy. Hence, all eyes are on how ‘Hello’, what many are calling Orkut 2.0, performs.
Hello aims to connect people on the basis of their interests. “Built particularly for the new mobile generation, Hello brings people together around their interests to create positive, meaningful, authentic connections and sustained social engagement,” Orkut Buyukkokten’s organisation Hello Network Inc said in a statement on Wednesday. “We designed ‘Hello’ to help you make connections in the real world. It’s a social network built on loves not likes, and I’m delighted to say ‘Hello’ to India once again,” said Buyukkokten, the CEO of the San Francisco based organisation. “If you look at social media today, it has isolated people instead of bringing them closer. It has become more about broadcasting than sharing. We need a fresh start,” he added.
Hello is now available in India on Apple App Store and Google Play Store. “When a user signs up, they are asked about five things that they are passionate about and then get recommendations that are non-intrusive. We also ensure that every advertiser has a profile on hello (for greater accountability),” Buyukkokten said adding that no user information is shared with third-party apps.
Orkut was shut down in September 2014 after rivals like Facebook and Instagram took over. With Buyukkokten now launching Hello, he is hopeful that it turns out to be as big as Orkut in India. “We started in Brazil in July 2016… About 35,000 users were a part of our beta testing in the Indian market. Orkut was huge in India and I’m delighted to say hello to India once again,” he said.