Orkut founder launches 'Hello' social network app in India

This comes at a time when Facebook, the world's most popular social networking site, is amidst a massive data breach scandal.
Orkut founder launches 'Hello' social network app in India
Orkut founder launches 'Hello' social network app in India
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As people vouch to delete Facebook in the wake of a massive data breach scandal, Orkut Buyukkokten -- a former Google employee who founded the trendsetter social networking website Orkut.com more than a decade ago -- on Wednesday launched a new social network "Hello" in India.

Built particularly for the new mobile generation, "Hello" brings people together around their interests to create positive, meaningful, authentic connections and sustained social engagement, the company said in a statement.

"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, now the CEO of San Francisco-based Hello Network Inc.

The app, currently available in Brazil with nearly one million downloads, was in the beta test mode in India for the past several months.

Test users spent over 320 minutes each month on the app, thus, reflecting the popularity of sport, entertainment, devotion and technology in India.

According to its website, Hello Network was founded by Buyukkokten and a small group of ex-Google engineers.

Headquartered in San Francisco and with a development office in Mountain View, California, the company has grown to a team of 20.

"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," the Orkut founder added. 

According to a PTI report, when asked about the monetisation model, Buyukkokten said the company does not have to sell user data to get revenues. “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),” PTI quotes him as saying. Hello also doesn’t share user information with with third-party apps.

The app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Orkut was owned and operated by Google and was named after its creator, Orkut Buyukkokten.

Google shut down Orkut on September 30, 2014.

Interestingly, when the delete Facebook campaign began, Anand Mahindra, chairman of Mahindra Group floated the idea of an alternative social media platform. The billionaire businessman took to Twitter to share his thoughts of having a social networking company that is ‘widely owned, professionally managed and willingly regulated’. He also expressed his interest in investing seed capital if any entrepreneurs were interested in something similar.

With IANS inputs

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