Aug 19, 2013

Mobile Vaani: A Social Media Network for Rural India

Social Media Network for Rural India

They say, that the Facebook is the network for masses and there is no one in the world who is not in a way touched by it. Well, Breaking news, Sudhir Yadav, a farmer in the Mohubani village of Dhanbad District in the state of Jharkhand has been actively using Social media to interact with his friends and family across Jharkhand. He is literate only enough to write his own name and to do some small additions and subtractions and like many others living in the rural areas, hasn’t even heard of facebook or orkut or any other social media networks.

Like Sudhir, a lot of people in the state of Jharkhand are now connected with each other through a new kind of social media network, specially devised for the rural population of India. This new Social Media Network is called Mobile Vaani.
Launched in 2012, Mobile Vaani, is an interactive voice response (IVR) system that enables people to share and create content of their choice directly through their phone. The fact that internet and the broadband is still to reach some rural parts of india, the mobile phone or a landline phone is very much  accessible and makes for the only way of social media communication.
All, Sudhir and other people on this network have to do, is to dial in 08800097458 and leave a missed call. The automated servers then call them back giving them options to hear the latest local news, record their own status messages, hear about the current weather updates and hear to their ‘friend’s’ updates and reply/comment back instantaneously.

Mobile Vaani: How it Works
(click on the image to enlarge)
How Mobile Vaani Works

The Mobile Vaani network works on five levels:
  1. The community media space where users can express themselves by sharing opinion, local news and updates, discussions and citing problems.
  2. An outreach platform is used by companies, government agencies, social sector partners and mobile content providers to reach users of the network through advertising, market research and feedback.
  3. It is used by government departments for engagement, announcements, data collection and feedback.
  4. The network can also serve as a platform to publish local classifieds. Local entrepreneurs can advertise on the network about jobs, services or products they offer.
  5. Mobile Vaani creates a self-sustaining platform for classified sourcing agents. Local entrepreneurs can become agents that help source local classifieds and spread information about the network.

 The Mobile Vaani network, a very young and completely out of the box social media network for rural India, currently gets around 2,000 calls a day and has more than 35,000 users in Jharkhand.  This Social media network has already reached a break-even stage and is completely funded by revenues it earns from the corporate sector, social sector (Non Government Organizations) and local classifieds.
Currently, Mobile Vaani is available only in Jharkhand, but its promoters have plans to start operations in the North-East, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Bihar.
Know more about mobile vaani at


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