Orkut Buyukkokten, the founder of the social network Orkut.com and CEO of Hello Network, Inc., has launched his new social network in India. The hello app is built specifically for the new mobile-generation and brings people together around their interests to create positive, meaningful, authentic connections and sustained social engagement. According to the company Hello, models the way people pursue their interests and make friends in the real world to overcome the artificial barriers and behaviours created by technology affecting connecting and communicating. Built around interest-based personas and communities where users express their creations, ideas and experiences, hello makes it easy to discover friendly people who share the same interests and it facilitates conversation leading to true connections.
Orkut Buyukkokten said, “Passions are often the start of our conversations in real life. Today’s online networks force people to treat each other totally differently from how they would behave face-to-face. Technology should help us become more understanding, more optimistic, kinder and better people. 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.”
The hello app has been available to early adopters in Brazil, with nearly 1M downloads, and has been available to a beta test audience in India for the past several months, with typical users spending over 320 minutes each month on the app claims the company. Reflecting the popularity of sport, entertainment, devotion, and technology in India, the top personas among beta users are Bollywood Fan, Cricket Fan, Entrepreneur, Fashion Enthusiast, Fitness Buff, Foodie, Music Fan, Philosopher, Spiritualist, and Techie. Over 55% of Indian users create content weekly, nearly double the average across other social networks.The hello app is free on the App Store and Google Play and is available for iOS 9 and KitKat for Android.
With the recent Facebook fiasco, users have been trying to find alternatives to Facebook and Hello seems to be a service that can break the monopoly of Facebook in the social networking space. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had recently testified before a Senate joint committee of both Judiciary and Commerce, Science, and Transportation on “Facebook, Social Media Privacy, and the Use and Abuse of Data.” The hearing took place at the Hart Senate Office Building 216. A total of 44 senators were allotted 5 minutes each to ask questions and get answers. The senators asked questions on how Facebook handles user data and how Cambridge Analytica was able to influence Facebook users.
Zuckerberg has already accepted the “breach of trust” and said that he needs to “fix that”. He has even apologised for the same. “I started Facebook, and at the end of the day I'm responsible for what happens on our platform,” he said soon after the Cambridge Analytica controversy. While Zuckerberg has promised to “work through this and build a better service” he claims that “the most important actions to prevent” a repeat of this have been already taken. The investigation, that could be pivotal for his massive company, is based on the accusations placed on the social media firm for misusing the data collected from its users in order to influence the US presidential elections which elected President Donald Trump.