hello network, the new Facebook rival in town which many of us may not have heard about but has been co-founded by Orkut Buyukkokten, the guy orkut.com was named after. A lot of people may think of Orkut as a dated platform that lost its prominence after Facebook picked up with the crowd but the social networking website owned and operated by Google was one of the most visited websites in India and Brazil back in 2008. hello network was announced for the Indian market recently and the timing cannot be better. Facebook is battling a credibility crisis due to the data breach scandal and #deleteFacebook was trending furiously. Built particularly for the new smartphone generation, hello has been designed to help you connect with people who share your passions.
For a lot of social media users who are almost available on all platforms right from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram to Snapchat, or any other service, the data privacy is one of the biggest concerns. It is the companies’ responsibility to make sure that the user is aware of how their data is protected and companies should ask for users consent directly if they want to share data. Incidents like Facebook data breach and similar cases over the decade have resulted in the society losing trust in social networks. hello network tries not to pull crowds for likes and basically aims to connect people on the basis of their interests.
The new network from Orkut is a playground for making new friends and explore what likeminded people are sharing. We had a chance to sit with Orkut around the launch of the hello network in India and he shared what Orkut’s next-generation, hello brings to the users.
When asked why people should switch to hello at all, Orkut explained, “We have two main human needs. We all want to connect and we all want to pursue our passions. hello’s vision is to enable authentic connections around common interests and passions. Social networks today have core benefits they provide to the users like broadcasting updates to friends and followers, one-to-one messaging or single interest services like dating. Their purpose is not to support meeting new people and connecting around passions.”
When asked about what’s the biggest USP of his new platform, he added, “hello provides a service that is not being addressed in the current social networking landscape. I believe 99 per cent of humanity needs to connect more and that’s why therapists will never go out of business.”
We also wanted to understand how hello network will handle user data and is there any sharing of data in the play. “We have our own authentication system that we don’t integrate with other services. We also don’t share user data with outside parties. Data is completely safe and protected on hello. We only look at user behavior or analytics data to improve the experience such as the quality and relevancy of content in users’ social feeds,” explained Orkut.
Considering Orkut was behind the first real social platform, we wanted to understand whether it is still his first love or hello network has taken that spot, “orkut.com has always been very dear to me. It grew to a community of over 300 million users. It made the world better by bringing us closer together. Even though orkut.com is my first love, hello has taken over the top spot. hello is my favorite because all the insights and experience I had accumulated over the years building social networks lead me to create it.”
When we think about Orkut there’s a brand connect with the now shut social platform, how exactly Orkut wants to utilise the nostalgia factor, “orkut.com had a very loving community. We all have very fond memories. We made friends, we found love, we even got married because of Orkut. The most popular feature on Orkut was communities. We designed the entire experience of hello around communities. We are continuing the tradition with hello and bringing people together around values that matter. hello is a social platform that fosters happiness, love, empathy, togetherness, and community. I see it as a spiritual successor to orkut.com.”
Talking about the number of users on the hello network and how many more users he expects to come on-board by end of this year, he said, “We have over a million downloads and 800 thousand registered users. We expect to have millions of users by the end of this year.”
To understand and learn about the new hello network, dive into our in-depth run through of the new Facebook rival platform. Orkut Buyukkokten at the end stressed, “I’m delighted to say ‘Hello’ to India once again.”