A Bengaluru-based technology entrepreneur has developed a social messaging app - Jalpah - with focus on privacy and two-way conversation: An antithesis of existing social messaging apps that build on large social conversations. While messaging apps focus on sharing text, image and video to a larger social base, Jalpah, which means personal discussion in Sanskrit, looks at privacy and building social conversations on mutually-agreed access. Jalpah, built as an Android app does not seek access to contacts, messages, media and conversations and hosts data on the mobile phone. "The one-to-many will not work forever. People are already moving away from social networks because of the noise," says S Suryaprakash, founder and chief executive of Vaakhyam Technologies. "One-to-one is the right approach." India's start-up industry has attracted hundreds of youngsters to setup firms and build products and solutions for mobile that leverage social conversations to grow their business. These firms get access to conversations, contacts and location of phone users, analyse them and pitch their products and services to consumers across the country. Indians download an average of 18.5 apps on their mobile and spend nearly 69 minutes a day on their smartphones. India has over 160 million smartphone users.
The number is expected to touch 500 million by 2017. Suryaprakash, 51, a graduate of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) -Madras, says his product has been designed with inputs for college-going youth. The product has in-built games for schoolchildren and traditional games such as snake and ladder, which can be played individually or between two people who have downloaded the app. The firm intends to set up servers across India to ensure latency is minimal during conversations. "I am not here to fight the existing apps. People will use us when they find they need to move away from other social networks," he says. The app, launched early this month has few hundred users, and is positioned as a private messaging and gaming product for users. The firm expects a million downloads by August 2016. Privately-held Vaakhyam will not look at advertisement revenue, but may charge for games played in the apps, while also looking at business customers who seek secure conversations.