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IIT-K alumni-made ShareChat app wields local languages to challenge Facebook

ShareChat was started by Lucknow boy Farid Ahsan and his friends Bhanu Singh and Ankush Sachdeva. Launched in 2015, the app has been downloaded over 1 million times and it has half a million active monthly users.

tech Updated: Jun 07, 2016 09:30 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
ShareChat was started by Lucknow boy Farid Ahsan and his friends Bhanu Singh and Ankush Sachdeva. Launched in 2015, the app has been downloaded over 1 million times and it has half a million active monthly users.
ShareChat was started by Lucknow boy Farid Ahsan and his friends Bhanu Singh and Ankush Sachdeva. Launched in 2015, the app has been downloaded over 1 million times and it has half a million active monthly users. (ShareChat)

Three IIT Kanpur alumni have developed one of its kind social networking app for India’s vernacular language users.

Named as ShareChat, the app allows users to share videos, jokes, GIFs, audio songs and funny images in Hindi, Telugu, Marathi and Malayalam.

The developers plan to add some more languages like Bengali, Gujarati, Tamil and Kannada soon.

ShareChat was started by Lucknow boy Farid Ahsan and his friends Bhanu Singh and Ankush Sachdeva. Launched in 2015, the app has been downloaded over 1 million times and it has half a million active monthly users.

“This all started when we observed that there exist a totally different set of users, who want to express themselves but have no platform and as soon as they get opportunity they aren’t reluctant to express. This audience had its different preferences for content consumption which cannot be served by social products used by metro audience,” said Farid.

Farid added, “This audience was widely unaddressed and the market was untouched until we decided to cater to them.”

ShareChat currently allows users to follow each other, create and find content in their language of preference and share them on all possible chat platforms.

ShareChat started as a fun app for Whatsapp with users sharing 1 lakh content pieces per day, and has now made rapid strides towards becoming a full-fledged social network.

The rapid success of the user generated content is a sign that ShareChat users have been desperately looking for a platform like this, he said.

The developers are also planning to add new content formats like live events and games. “It is the real Indian Facebook that will grow faster than any other social network as the target audience is growing,” the techie said.

The app also provides health tips on how to cure yourself with home-made remedies, lose weight, religious quotes and dictionary. (ShareChat)

Recently, ShareChat got a validation for its approach when it was selected as one of the six apps invited for second batch of Google Launchpad Accelerator programme from India, which is a six-month mentorship programme. The programme includes $50,000 equity-free funding, two-week all-expenses paid bootcamp and access to Google Cloud.

“Facebook or Twitter serves a very small section of Indian society and not those who are still experimenting with the internet and experiencing it through their smartphones with limited data packs. People want to interact with people with same native background in their own languages. And that’s how ShareChat was born,” said Aditya Raj Somani who joined the team recently.

Currently, ShareChat, which has a tagline ‘best of India by best of India’ for its content and services, provides funniest Indian videos, best jokes, memes like Bakchodi Billi, Troll cricket and other latest and best funny jokes and funny videos.

Latest videos of both music, songs and Indian cinema and TV ads are also available with updates on Tamil, Bollywood, Telugu, Marathi and Bengali movies and songs. Other services include daily horoscope, astrology in all Indian languages by birth date, kundli match service, news in Indian languages like Hindi, Kannada, love quotes, tips to dress well and how to prepare for interviews.

The app also provides health tips on how to cure yourself with home-made remedies, lose weight, religious quotes and dictionary.

First Published: Jun 07, 2016 09:30 IST

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