New Delhi: India’s fastest growing social media app, ShareChat, is now available in Odia. ShareChat is a first-of-its-kind regional language social networking platform, focused completely on India with 1.5 crore registered users and available in 10 languages namely Hindi, Malayalam, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Odia and Kannada.
A report by KPMG and Google states that nine out of 10 new internet users will be using the internet in their native language.Though this is a positive sign, there remains a huge requirement of a truly world-class productwhich can deliver a truly ‘Indian experience’ digitally. The internet market has been so far dominated by the US and Chinese firms. In this background, ShareChat was started by a team of IIT alumni in 2015 to address this need gap.
Recently, ShareChat developed an Odia-only interface, using the locally prevalent words and phrases. All the technical terms in the product have been recreated in Odia, so that a person who is not well conversant with English can also use the product with ease. ShareChat has been developed keeping in mind the first-time internet users and is thus very simple and intuitive by design. The app promises to host special categories and tags for festivals celebrated locally, encompassingculture and literature, education, locally trending news, Ollywood (Odia cinema) along with fun, entertainment,devotion and sports.
If the user finds the content interesting he or shecan even share it on WhatsApp to his or her friends, thus maximizing the reach. This eventually will result in digitization of a lot of specialized areas including literature,thus preserving and further developing the varied cultural heritage in these times of fast paced technology.
The existing users have been really excited about the launch in Odia language. As of now many users knowing Odia were using the app in other languages such as Hindi or Bengali. The persistent demand from the users was one of the primary inspiration to launch the app in Odia. Suraj from Sundargadh, Odisha says, “Someway or other we tried to find our place on different social media platforms which were not inherently in Odia. Hearing about ShareChat’s initiative to release Odia language, I feel, we will also get a platform to express ourselves in our mother tongue.” Another user Jagdish Pattnaik from Malkangiri, Odisha says, “This is good news for the Odia people as we want to share news and views in our mother tongue. It is heartening to see more and more local content in Odia finding a space in the digital world. Thanks to ShareChat, now I will connect better with my friends and family in the neighborhood or even the loved ones who stay away in other cities.”
Commenting on the launch,Farid Ahsan, CEO of ShareChatsaid, “ShareChat has always focused on providing a culturally relevant and truly Indian social media platform for the internet consumers of India. We at ShareChat feel proud in launching another two languages, Odia and Kannada today. It is one of the many steps taken by our team to promote the digitization of Indian languages. We are determined to make the vision of Digital Indiaa reality and our efforts are a big leap forward in that direction.”