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Chat fiction app, the chat-shaped literature that young people like

enero 14, 2020

The creators of Hooked, the most famous of the chat fiction apps, interpreted the needs of the Snapchat Generation: written literature as a single conversation of text messages

I am the steps in the dark … When you think there is nobody there

Scene from "The Observer". And what would that be? A soap? No. A novel? N.

a stories of Hooked, the chat fiction app that dominates the top of the online store rankings. These are applications that offer a specific model of literature and think who created them suitable for a young adult audience.

Hooked, as well as Tap, Yarn, Readit or Chatsty, aggregates stories of various types, divided by gender, which have a main feature: they are written in the form of a dialogue. As script scripts, orphans of descriptive parts. At best, the setting is made up of the background of images (if any), or music (ditto). For the rest, the plot unfolds through conversations (chat, in fact), as if they were a long series of messages.

A screenshot of the Hooked chat fiction appThe reader decides the rhythm, with a simple "tap" on the screen, which makes the next text appear. There is also an automatic scrolling function, which is activated by holding your finger on the touchscreen for a long time (once only).

The experiment for a type of reading that stimulates teenagers seems to have worked: as Prerna Guptasu Medium says, the idea, born in 2015, started to work seriously a year later, until it reached important peaks in recent months.

Our first readers were 80% girls between 13 and 17 years old, mainly from the United States

“Since things started taking off in 2016, we have surpassed 10 million readers in April and 20 million in May. The demographic spectrum has widened: the division by gender now 60/40 and the age ranges from 13 to 35 ", Prerna Guptain told an interview with AngelList Blog.

And to think that she and her husband Parag Chordia, co-founder of the app had started from the idea of ​​writing it to them, a story. The two, former authors of the AutoRap application, had done so a one-way ticket to Costa Rica, with the idea of ​​taking a break and working on a book. But something was not working. After all, they agreed putting a hand on the heart, they were two developers.

Prerna Gupta and Parag Chordia (Photo: Medium)

The way the content was consumed had changed, true, but the two refused to believe that the reading was dead, as most people said. Fiction, storytelling: there was a million dollar world out there, it was only cultured. Back in Silicon Valley, they founded their company, with the aim of redefining the fiction for the "Snapchat Generation".

Sector studies, analysis of the most used words among bestsellers, a / b tests, tests via Facebook: it was many steps that convinced the couple to launch themselves, and with them the many investors who believed in the model. Last year, the consecration: the app began to climb the charts, and one of the stories was also chosen for the Tribeca Film Festival.

Competitors have arrived, among whom Prerna Gupta also includes the recent Amazon Rapids, even if aimed at an audience of very young people (8-12 years). Hooked (as well as competitors, speaking of the user interface) rely on immediacy: the controls are simple and the graphics are clean. Just choose the genre you prefer, browse the catalog, and start reading. And the good news for the market is that in-app purchases are planned.

A screenshot of the Hooked chat fiction app

Any story can be reported to the platform, probably because control margins are not too rigid. Otherwise, some of the fiction that is found in the Italian version would have little reason to exist.

Like "The Truth", a text that someone has entered under the "horror" category, with a meaningless plot, ungrammatical messages and photos (including self-harm) that perhaps the public can save themselves by logging in (not necessary for reading only ), users can also write a story in their own hand.

The path for those who write by profession is different, judging from the email available in the FAQ to the question “do you want to write for us?” It is not clear, however, if there is an editorial line of the platform and what type of compensation is provided for professionals. of visualizations on each story gives the idea that there may be an earning mechanism based on the results obtained.

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