Business Today

Desi Tango

Social networking in India gets a regional flavour.

It's perhaps an idea whose time has come. An entirely different world is gradually taking shape on social networks. You wake up to suprabhat and end the day with shubhoratri. Instead of 'weekend is here' messages on Friday, Goddess Lakshmi greets you with vanakkam. Mondays aren't blue as memes adorned with hearts and roses ask you Prem su che. You don't post stories but 'premache status'. Shayari, mehandi designs, chutkulla, romantic Bollywood songs, video clips of Indian daily soaps. Welcome to the universe of home grown regional language social networks.

Of late, several social media start ups have emerged in the country that give users the opportunity to network in their preferred language. Take a pick: Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati or even Bhojpuri. Platforms such as Sharechat, ClipApp, Roposo, Mooshak, Your, Inpix from news app Inshorts, et al., are making it possible.

India's social networking scene has been dominated by global giants Facebook and Twitter so far, but the emergence of Internet 2.0 in India is changing the landscape. Albeit slowly. The next 50 crore users are coming from beyond Tier I, and they prefer their mother tongue over English. Hence, the desikaran of Internet is in order and, as a result, social networking, too.

According to a report by professional service company KPMG, India had over 23 crore language Internet users at the end of 2016. The number, it estimates, would surge

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