Tamil film superstar Rajinikanth on Monday launched his daughter Soundarya’s voice-based social media platform – Hoote – offering a 60-second live voice recording option or to upload a recorded voice in 15 Indian and ten foreign languages of choice.
The new app is said to take social media by storm, as it hopes to “emotionally” connect iconic leaders with their fans in their voices and native tongue.
“Hoote is the sound the owl makes, and the white owl is considered a symbol of wisdom and hence the name,” Soundarya Rajinikanth, who co-founded the app with Sunny Pokala, said.
Announcing the official launch of Hoote, she claimed the app is India’s first voice-based social media platform for the world, from Chennai.
While working on the ‘Annaatthe’ shoot in Hyderabad, her father sent her a voice note. “This inspired me to come up with a platform to connect celebrities or leaders with their fans or followers by enabling them to hear the original voice speak in the native language,” she told reporters here during the launch function.
Recalling the top actor’s tweet on 3 December 2020 containing his voice message of launching the political party and announcing the date for it, she said, “this didn’t happen because of the situation, but Hoote has happened.”
“On 4 January, I sent a small proposal to Sunny, CEO of Amtex, and in February 2021, we started building the product. Today is day one of the launch,” Soundarya said.
Her father, who was in Delhi today and received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, launched the Hoote by hooting a voice message in which he said, “those who can’t read or write (too) can convey their voice messages.”
“I hope this (Hoote) will become popular as other platforms like Facebook and Twitter,” Rajinikanth said in Tamil and congratulated Soundarya for her initiative.
“Appa (father) knows to read many languages, including Tamil. But he finds it rather difficult to write in Tamil. He was the inspiration behind Hoote. A tweet is more of words, but here, in Hoote, it is full of emotion,” Soundarya said and added that not only celebrities but also anyone could connect with the people or private groups in their languages.
“Currently, we are working to include Sanskrit. Also, we are working on audio teasers on Hoote besides the translation of the messages,” the filmmaker and entrepreneur said.
“The entire voice message should be conveyed in 60 seconds, and it is human to human interaction. The hooters can be anywhere in the world and could connect with private or public groups,” Sunny said and added that the app is AI-enabled.
Being multilingual allows anyone who wants to be heard to express through the unique voice in the language of choice.
To use the Hoote app, one has to record an audio message for up to 60 seconds and share it with the world, they said.
“Voice is one of the most empowering and authentic ways to communicate and express one’s views and opinions… Hoote can be used as a platform to broadcast and link the world’s most prominent voices and also the voices of the common people both on important issues well as to create effective human relationships,” Soundarya said.
Sunny creates Kavalan, a mobile citizen safety app in India, and Securra, a disruptive healthcare platform in New York.
Girish Mathrubootham, the founder of Freshworks, and Arvind Parthasarathi, tech entrepreneur from Silicon Valley, are advisors, Soundarya said.