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You’ve missed it all. You’ve missed the drama. You’ve missed all that the gorgeous Nargis Fakhri revealed on the 16th of April 2014. You’ve missed the fascinated look in her eyes. You’ve missed her swirls and the twirls onstage. You’ve missed the husky tone in which she said: ‘I love ChatON.’

A part of me has actually begun calling this dextrous multi-device and multi-platform instant messenger ‘Nargis’… so smitten I am after watching her interact with technology during the ChatON launch. I said to myself, ‘There must be something really fascinating about the new version 3.5 of ChatON, that even a busy celebrity like Nargis is attracted to it.’

And the first thing I did was to install it on my iPhone5. Aha! You must be chuckling and saying, ‘This messenger is for the Samsung smartphones only… why is he troubling his iPhone now?’ Well, I’ve mentioned this earlier and you probably overlooked it… the new version makes ChatON a multi-device and multi-platform messenger that is available across Android, iOS, Windows and Blackberry and can be used across a wide range of devices and thus, the current ChatON subscriber base of 200 million globally is bound to rise exponentially.

India’s 1230 billion population has a 7% smartphone penetration and 130 million mobile internet users… which means instant communication is getting to be more and more vital. So messaging-users need to simply hop on to a service that delivers more than what any other service is delivering. Thus if a user is able to share files up to 1GB, is able to instantly translate between English and Hindi or in a few other languages, can have up to 1001 members’ group chat, has the facility of easy location sharing, is able to send message recall, has SMS/MMS integration, and has access to charming Indianized Anicons, he will have no option but to do what Nargis Fakhri did on stage… she excitedly said, ‘I am liking this app more and more and more now.’

But coming back to the animated conversation featuring Nargis, it was heart-warming to see her emerge from backstage, saying, ‘I have been trying ChatON on my smartphone for some time now and I find the Live Partners feature simply fascinating. I can make some really groovy online shopping decisions with this.’

Well, yes, the big differentiator for ChatON is the Live Partners feature, which includes key partners like CriqHQ, Ebay, Mint, Aajtak, and Think Digit, amongst others to give the user exclusive content, discounts and deals! No wonder then that Mr. Latif Nathani, Managing Director, eBay India, is reported to have said: ‘Nearly 24% of eBay India traffic is via a mobile device. We are always looking at innovative ways to reach our core target groups and messaging apps like Samsung ChatON bring us another avenue to reach new consumers, especially in Tier II/III towns. We have great offers on eBay India exclusively for the ChatON channel.’ Now if the sort of offers that are there on ChatON can tickle a busy celebrity like Nargis Fakhri, we are but ordinary mortals who can only moan and purr happily!

In case some of you are wondering about the intense focus on making messengers so much better than what we were accustomed to, let me say here that I had a chat with Tarun Malik, Director of Media Solutions Center-South West Asia, Samsung Electronics, and he explained to me that the newer and improved versions are because all research is directed towards ‘consumer focus, product innovation, technical leadership, retail presence, and rich content,’ and as a result, a consumer is gifted the ‘ability to use this platform to consume content from various genres like news, entertainment, games, and health…’

Now, despite all the delightful features that new version 3.5 of ChatON has, it needs to be mentioned that they are for Android users… and that the latest release for iOS (Ver 2.7.7) and for Blackberry (Ver 1.11) was in December 2013, and for WP8 users it happened in January 2014. As a result I was not able to really see if the translator with this messenger has matured or is as hilarious as translating ‘I love your eyes’ to something as incongruous as ‘Aapki drishti pyari hai’… though, I must say that a small helping of hilarity transforms an interaction to an enjoyable one!

So there you are, I am waiting for my contacts to migrate to ChatON… and as I punch this post with my right hand, my left hand is busy opening Whatsapp and my left eye is focused on what my friends on that app are ranting about! Now if you intend to ask me, ‘Don’t you have BBM, WeChat, Line, and Viber on your iPhone?’ all that I can say is, ‘I’ve been there and came out as they were either having a cluttered interface or had features that made me look like a performing clown in a circus! And now I hope my friends find ChatON as good as I do… but remember, I fell in love with ChatON because of the dramatic revelations made by Nargis Fakhri one pleasant Delhi afternoon!


Review published in ‘The Education Post’ dated 21 April 2014…

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2014_04_21_The Education Post_review of chatON



Arvind Passey
21 April 2014



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