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Orkut’s Hello launches ‘Karma’ to curb fake news, plans monetisation via Hellocoin and ads


Orkut Büyükkökten wants to create a new sensation by his social media app. His newly launched Hello Network is trying to recreate the magic once he did in early 2000.

Soon after launching Hello Network in India, the firm has thrown another card in the form of ‘Karma’ to keep a tab on the circulation of fake news disseminating via social networks.

With Karma, a reputation system, Orkut wants to tackle fake news.

The launch of the feature seems to be a well timed given that Facebook has been embroiled in data leak controversies in India and elsewhere. The social networking giant was also accused of manipulating US electoral process in Donal Trump favour.

Meanwhile, in an effort to spruce up its image, Facebook has taken an initiative to curb fake news in the upcoming election in Karnataka. It also has tied up with Mumbai-based BOOM to tackle the increasing virality of fake information.

BOOM is an independent digital journalism initiative certified through the International Fact-Checking Network.

In an interview with ET, Orkut claims that the Karma feature in Hello tracks interactions using algorithms that assign a ‘reputation’ to every unique user. A user will need to consistently post on the platform to gain acceptance/reputation whether it is an individual, brands or advertisers.

He also added that companies cannot just pay money and show ads. They need to earn users trust. Brands require getting enough positive reaction to gain user trust on Hello Network. In this way, misinformation or fake news will automatically get identified due to lack of positive feedback from users.

It already has claimed that it doesn’t share users’ data with third-party apps. The platform uses data to improve their experience.

Meanwhile, Orkut’s Hello has also hinted to be in talks with local investors to raise funds.

Besides tracking fake news, some important agendas on the company’s table are advertising, hiring as well as ramping up its virtual coin called Hellocoin.

As far as advertising is concerned, the company will look to monetize this vertical. The firm also claims that it will be offering ads that are only related to the five interests that the platform ‘explicitly’ asks for at the time of joining.

The second and a major mode of monetisation will be company’s own virtual coin. As usual, all details feed in Hello will be in ‘public’ by default.

If any user wants to post anonymously, he/she will need Hellocoins. One will get few of these coins to start with and later will have to pay if he/she needs more. Alternatively, a user can earn Hello coins by engaging with other people.

In a recent interview with Quartz, Orkut also revealed that the firm doesn’t have a team in India yet, but he will look into hiring in the country this year.

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