Desi social communication alternative | Will Indians soon be sharing their Good Mornings on "ARATTAI"

Desi social communication alternative | Will Indians soon be sharing their Good Mornings on "ARATTAI"

As the February 8 deadline of accepting WhatsApp new policy OR deleting WhatsApp comes near, users in India are moving on to other platforms like Signal and Telegram. However, will the news of ZOHO CORP soon launching an all Indian messaging service "ARATTAI" on the lines of WhatsApp and Signal finally make Indians go Desi on social media?
Desi social communication alternative | Will Indians soon be sharing their Good Mornings on "ARATTAI"
  • Arattai facilitates conversations in multiple languages
  • Best time to Beta  launch Zoho given the increased focus on user privacy and WhatsApp’s updates
  • Arattai utilises the core technology of Zoho Cliq, which can be compared to Slack or Microsoft Teams

Over the last week, users on Social Media have been flustered with the new Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy updates from WhatsApp, which allows it to share more information with the parent FB and other linked services like Instagram.

Since the last decade, all the three platforms – Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram have become the most preferred means of communication by billions of internet users around the world, which includes individuals as well as businesses.

India’s Zoho may well be on its road to a masterstroke, launching Arattai (which in Tamil means “to Chat”) as the first home grown social communication platform.

Sridhar Vembu, the founder of Zoho says that the app has been made with the communication needs of Indians in mind and though the platform is still being tested among family and friends, the formal launch will be announced soon.

“Arattai won’t share any user data with third parties. And while we don’t have a monetisation strategy yet, we’re looking at this app as a utility app for day-to-day use cases with communication at the core of its infrastructure. So even the current beta version has an in-built document scanner. We’re looking to bring in cloud storage and a digital locker where users can save their confidential passwords and identity cards” - Praval Singh, Vice President, Zoho

Meanwhile, users are being bombarded with different alternative options to WhatsApp, more likely the switchover will be to Signal or Telegram.  Signal has Brian Acton (co-founder of WhatsApp) as one of its founders and technology guides, hence the platform seems to be as robust with the user interests in mind rather than commercial data harvesting as its modus operandi. Even Elon Musk has gone to the extent of suggesting users to chose Signal as an alternative.

Sridhar, who has been a staunch supporter of reviving Indian intellectual property has been focussing on SaaS products being designed in Indian villages and small towns, where he intends to build the next big knowledge economy. With Zoho and now Arattai, conversations in multiple languages and an Indian app might be just the best alternative that we are looking for. It remains to be seen.

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