Say hello to ‘Hello’: Orkut’s new offering

  • Anirban Ghoshal, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 10, 2016 15:40 IST
Orkut’s fall began with the rise and exponential growth of other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. (HT Archive)

Hello, a new social media platform, has taken a page each from the playbooks of existing rivals Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest.

Founded by Orkut Büyükkökten, maker of social media firm Orkut in early 2000s before it was killed by Facebook, Hello bets on “love” as opposed to “likes”, which is the most desired social media expression popularized by Facebook.

“Hello is the first social network built on loves, not likes. I designed hello to help you connect with people who share your passions,” said Büyükkökten.

From Instagram, Hello has picked up the attributes of making the platform more visual and less of text. In fact, it does not allow text-based posts to be put up. It rather allows sharing images, users can modify the background, add text to the photos, and add filters, which brings its closer to what Snapchat and Instagram have in offer.

The platform won’t support video right away, but when it does, it is expected to be on the lines of Snapchat, a video-based social network. Büyükkökten said in his blog, that it will allow users to share videos, essentially short 10-15 second clips, soon. These will be like Snapchat’s “snaps”.

Hello has taken cue from Pinterest, another social network that allows you to pin images, videos and other objects to their virtual pinboard.

To put things in context, Hello promises a little more than the three rivals, and Facebook, too. You can create a profile by choosing five personas, or interests, from a list of 11. So, you can be a mix of a vampire, traveller, foodie, actor and an animal lover. This would bring you closer to other people having similar interests.

Now, everything you post has to be tagged to one of the chosen interests. If a Hello user in America has similar interests, the software-code running the app will show him or her your posts.

Büyükkökten focus on visual experience comes at a time when Facebook is betting big on video with features such as 360-degree videos and Facebook Live.

To put things in context, video is almost half of the total data consumption, globally. In India, too, video drives social networks.

Hello is expected to come to India next month. Büyükkökten has a reason to bet on India. In 2008, with 13 million users, Orkut already had more users here than it had in America.

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