Remember Orkut? The social network that we all loved, before Facebook came and took over our lives? In 2014, Orkut was shut down by Google and everyone who had used it felt a tinge of sadness. Now Orkut’s creator Büyükkökten has launched a new social network called Hello, which is available on mobile only. The Hello.com app is available on Android and iOS in the following countries: US, Canada, Britain, France, Australia, Brazil, Ireland. Germany, Mexico and India are next on the list and the app should be available this month.
In a blogpost, Büyükkökten writes that “hello is the next generation of orkut,” and it is built on love, not likes. His blog reads, “hello connects us all. Think about it: you can say “hello” in any language and people will understand. “Hello” is probably the most widely spoken word in the world after “Okay.” Aló, halo, ʾāllo, alô, hallo, alló, hello. Fear and hatred have no place when you make such a simple and friendly gesture to someone else. So come join me, and make some new friends. Say hello, and love your world.”
The About page for Hello says the company called Hello Network has been founded by Orkut creator Buyukkokten, and a small group of ex-Google engineers. Hello’s headquarters are in San Francisco and the company has a development office in Mountain View.
According to a report on Venture Beat, the app doesn’t use any external data, and only gets access to a user’s contacts. Users then have to choose an avatar like photographer or foodie, etc and as you post content, you have to assign it to these personas. The number of personas is limited to five, and you can change once you are no longer interested in a persona.
The report points out the app is more visual based rather than text. The idea with ‘Hello’ is to make the world more friendlier, according to its founder. We’ll have to wait and see how soon Hello rolls out to the rest of the world.
Orkut had over 300 million users when it was shut down. The community withered thanks to Facebook’s growth. Facebook for its part is one of the most dominant social networks ever, with 1.7 billion monthly active users on the website alone. Then it also owns WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, which have 1 billion monthly active users each, as well as Instagram which has around 500 million monthly active users. And so far, this number is growing with Facebook’s power being virtually unchallenged.
In 2014, a new network called ‘Ello’ had come up, which had become popular because it was ‘ad-free’. But ‘Ello’ was an obvious Facebook clone, and while initially the network went viral, with people joining in and looking for invites, the interest didn’t last long. Let’s hope, Hello manages to do a lot better.
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