2018 has been a year of Indian regional languages, with new and existing startups launching their apps in local languages and entering vernacular markets.
As per a KPMG-Google study, Indian language internet users have grown at a CAGR of 41% to reach 234 million in 2016. Indian language internet users are expected to grow at a CAGR of 18% to reach 536 million Indian language users by 2021 from merely 42 million users in 2011. This trend has led to an increased interest in regional markets, with many startups launching their apps in regional language versions with advanced features and offerings.
Here is a look at the best performing vernacular platforms of the year :
BharatMatrimony – BharatMatrimony is the first online matrimony service platform to offer vernacular lite apps in eight Indian regional languages. Having recently roped in cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni as its brand ambassador, the matrimony brand aims to connect with a larger audience from different regions of the country.
Roposo – Roposo is a unique social video platform that lets its 21 million users create high-quality short form videos using advanced creation tools. The app offers a seamless TV-like browsing experience with 24+ interest-based channels. Available in 10 regional languages, the app lets users create, share and connect in their native language, and boasts of 1.50 million daily active users, and 150 million daily video views.
BetterButter – A one of its kind social discovery platform for cooking and recipes, BetterButter lets users share and discover various regional and global recipes in their local languages. Founded by Niyaz Laiq and Sukhmani Bedi in 2015, the platform has more than 50,000 recipes and videos from across the world.
Vokal – TaxiForSure founder Aprameya Radhakrishna has returned with Vokal, an Indian language question-answer platform for regional users and those who are not conversant in English. Individuals can come on Vokal and ask any question that they want, which in-turn are answered by other users. The app comes in with the options of voice and text. The platform also has a Google voice to text option. The answers can also be given anonymously.
DailyHunt – Dailyhunt is a mobile application that publishes news and aggregates news in 17 languages. Erstwhile NewsHunt, the app today boasts of 22 million users and 30 billion page views per month. This Bangalore-based company is considered to be one of the leading mobile news applications today.
22Languages – 22Languages helps brands create unique and engaging content, and reach out to billions of Indian regional population with their products and services. As the name goes, the platform is available in 22 Indian languages and promotes the concept of multilingual digital strategy and vernacular communication for brands.
In the coming year, it will be interesting to watch how startups and brands entice regional users and penetrate micro markets of India.