Aby Mathew wanted to write a poem inspired by Bob Marley’s song “Buffalo Soldier”. He scribbled a few lines and posted it on both Facebook and Twitter, but it drew a blank.
When his friend Salmon KP shared the poem in a WhatsApp group, it got overwhelming response.
This intrigued Mathew, who found it interesting that while it failed to get much attention from friends, some people he did not even know responded with compliments. The duo discussed this episode with another friend, Ameen Rashad, and they realised that creative writing is well-received among like-minded people.
And thus, TaleHunt was born.
TaleHunt is an app for aspiring short-story tellers/writers. In the Co-founders’s own words, TaleHunt is the Twitter of very short stories.
“TaleHunt is a mobile app for people who love very short stories. The app is serious about the ‘very short’ part and all the stories on the app are restricted to 250 characters or less. TaleHunt helps users to write tiny stories and share it with the world,” says Mathew (CMO), who co-founded the company along with Salmon (CTO) and Rashad (CEO) early this year.
“Our target audience is aspiring writers who love to write micro-stories and people who love to read stories on their mobile device. We are targeting users who are using smartphone for entertainment,” Mathew explains.
After logging in, the app displays trending tales. Users can follow the storytellers whom they like and will get notified when they write a new tale. Users can also ‘like’, comment and share tales, and suggest topics to others. If they write a tale on that topic then, the suggested users will get notified.
As of the last week of April 2016, TaleHunt had more than 10,000 active users, says Mathew. Around 75 per cent of its users are readers who love to read tales written by other users in the TaleHunt community.
Budding writers can also choose a pen name if they are ‘shy’ and don’t want to disclose their name. The app also allows users to ‘report’ others if the content offensive.
“There is a ‘report this tale’ button on the app, anyone in the TaleHunt community can report if there is any offensive content in the app. In addition, our team monitors the content at regular intervals,” he explains.
TaleHunt, owned and operated by Mocioun Inc., generates revenue through ads, by promoting brands/companies through micro-tales and selling/promoting books. The app is currently available on Android and iOS platforms.
“Professional writers are promoting books by writing interesting tales in TaleHunt. These tiny tales act like a ‘trailer’ (like in movies) for large stories/novels. We are experimenting by letting authors who have published on Amazon write short stories on our app,” Mathew goes on.
“The stories can then link to their published work at the bottom. Tapping that would take readers to Amazon. The feature is currently available only for a few selected writers on the app and is free for now,” he adds.
Short is the new trend in the social media world. While there is Vine for short videos, Twitter for short messages and SnapChat for ephemeral photos, there is gap for short literature in the market.
“While there are a lot of Twitter accounts and Facebook pages for short stories, aspiring writers don’t have a dedicated platform for short literature works. We are filling this gap.”