Product Update: Verified Opentalkers & Better People Search!

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Our latest update is live on Android and will be available on Apple in a couple of days. It is packed with new & exciting features to enable better search and connecting with higher level talkers.

Over the past couple of months, numerous users have provided us with feedback of all sorts and even suggestions of how we can improve Opentalk. We’ve listened and promised to include as many of these suggestions as new features in the upcoming update. This is us delivering on that promise. The new features in our latest update are enumerated below:

People Search Zone: We’ve introduced 4 unique categories in the People Search Zone that lets you choose exactly who you want to connect with according to the prefered subcategory within the main category. After you click on the subcategory within the main category,you will see a list of users. The Verified Talkers are featured on this list and it’ll cost you 5 credits to talk to them. They’ll also earn Karma Points for each call and they’ll stand a chance to rank in the Leaderboards (Ranking according to accumulated Karma Points). You can either ‘Send a request’ to connect (if they aren’t online) or ‘Talk Now’ (if they are online & available i.e. if you call them during the period they set as their Availability Slot).
The 4 main categories in the People Search Zone are:
Practice Language: This category lets you connect with users when you want to practice a particular language. Subcategories include ‘Practice English’, ‘Practice French’, ‘Practice German’…

Explore Places: This category let’s you connect with users from specific geographic locations. Subcategories include ‘Explore Europe’, ‘ Explore Brazil’, ’Explore Canada’…
Explore Study Options: This category lets you connect with students(present or alumni) from particular educational institutions. Subcategories include ‘Explore Engineering Colleges’, ‘ Explore European Colleges’, ’Explore New York University’…
General: This category lets you connect with users according to variou generic criteria. Subcategories include ‘From Asia’, ‘speaks Arabic’, ‘From Egypt speaks English’…

2. Verified Talkers: It’s a badge that is awarded to users identified as great talkers on Opentalk. Being Verified, gives a user an opportunity to be recognized and rewarded for giving back to the Opentalk Community. He/She will feature in the People Search zone categories and is even eligible to earn Karma Points and view their subsequent ranking in the Opentalk Verified Talker Leaderboards.

3. Availability Period: Verified Talkers can now specify the period during which they’re available to receive calls from users. We know that schedules often change at the drop of a hat, so this setting isn’t static and can be changed as often as the user needs to.

4. Karma Points: These are Opentalk points awarded to Verified Talkers for giving back to the community in the form of sharing knowledge & information in the various People Search categories.

5. Leaderboards: These are monthly leaderboards that are exclusively accessible to Verified Talkers. Your ranking on the leaderboard is solely dependent on the number of Karma Points earned as a Verified Talker. There are 4 main leaderboards for the month:
a) Overall Leaderboard: To view your overall ranking for that month
b) Language: To view your overall ranking for the People Search category, ‘Practice Language’
c) Place: To view your overall ranking for the People Search category, ‘Explore Places’
d) College: To view your overall ranking for the People Search category, ‘Explore Study Options’

Do try these features out and share your feedback. We hope these set of feature will significantly enhance your Opentalk experience.


How I Met Someone As Crazy About IPL As Me

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Every year, IPL just creates the most sensationalizing event for sports lover, specifically Cricket.
In a country like India, where people are obsessed with a game and worship some of the
legendary players like God, the thrill is never-ending. The repercussion of these games doesn’t
bore anyone and makes it the most popular sports event in India. With an investment of billions
and a platform for young talent, IPL has surely made its way into the Indian audience who loves
cricket way too much. But the glitch is that the love for this sport remains confided in India.
When I moved abroad for the very first time, I experienced a totally different perspective of
people living in a different country. Not just the traditions and languages are different, your
likings at a point never match up with them I rarely find a cricket lover there. Even in my own
Indian community people were least worried about a tournament who is widely celebrated in
India. They do have a thing for International Cricket, but IPL was never their cup of tea. After
tiring days of work, I stopped watching my favourite sport in a fear of being left alone. I was
binging on Netflix unnecessarily just for the sake of people accompanying me. I was trying to
make them happy.

Sadly, my recreation factor stoops at its lowest making me more advent towards mood swings.
You can call it homesick in your vocabulary, but for me, it was the lack of a person who must
share the same level of excitement as I do for IPL.

Randomly going through useless and new apps I stumbled upon Opentalk app for its interesting
aspect of being able to connect with a person who will match up to on the basis of your
hobbies. This aspect indeed sounded fairly appealing to me and I connected to one of my best
friend Rohan, who was coincidently living in the same country as I do.
Let me tell you that coincidentally Rohan was my long-lost friend from India and we grow up
together in Lucknow’s Civil lines area. He later moved away from Lucknow to Delhi and then to
abroad consequently to the same country in which I was living at the moment. He too was a
cricket fan like me and IPL too. It’s almost unbelievable how we connected on a random app
after so many years.

We met after having a brief conversation on Opentalk and our evenings are literally sorted
together after that. We enjoy our IPL matches accompanied by some nice drinks and a few
close friends and that has really boosted my overall productivity in life. I still use Opentalk on a
regular basis expecting to meet any more long-lost friend or totally a new one through this
amazing app.


How Opentalk Gave Me A Successful Startup!

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A great business starts with a great idea. And even if you have the idea, the task of getting it implemented is nothing less than building a duplicate earth altogether. And most of us don’t take that much pain in getting the right thing done even if we know it. The same stand for start-ups in India these days. On an average 400 startups starts every month in India and 98% of them fails to exercise their own mission or message.

The failure of startup these days is largely because of their own perspective about the product they want to deliver to the mass. Most of the startups have no idea about the basic audience and messaging they want to accompany along with their product. The success of any startup depends on minor details right from your basic product that one must be aware of. You have to cater the mass in order to leverage success for which in-depth research is the most crucial need.

Recently, I met one of my friend who launched a social media app through which you can earn. Imagine the positioning of such an app in the world of social media where most of us use most of our data on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram without getting anything in return. The app looks revolutionary to me and according to him, he was getting a lot of investment for this kind of project. He inaugurated an app launch event and invited Bollywood stars for this purpose. When out of curiosity, I asked him about his app, he introduced me to Opentalk app. He has been using this app for a few months now and he shared how he got this idea on Opentalk with a totally random person who is now a partner in his visionary project.

He explained to me how Opentalk introduces you to stranger people based on your interests, hobbies or knowledge area. You can connect and diversify your knowledge and ideas that are going to benefit you in the long run.

Inspired by his thoughts and Opentalk, I downloaded it instantly started interacting with people as per my interests and hobbies. I soon find a group of people who were running a business on auto spare parts like me. I always wanted to do something in this field and together we started a small venture together by selling these parts on an e-commerce website. We contacted top retailers to sell their products directly to us from where we made direct deals with consumers. My venture has been established as a huge successful business now and all credit goes to Opentalk.


Moving from India to Columbia Business School

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Hailing from a primitive background who engrails the concept of surviving every other day can be challenging for those who have dreams larger than life. India, as a whole, is subdivided into two rational categories; the upper and the lower class. Both have their respective points of concern as one totally exists on expanding while the other on surviving. Unfortunately, my destiny chose the second side for me for which the dream is to meet their daily needs, education is a different aspect altogether.

I never gave up on my dreams and continued scrutinizing my flaws over complaining. Thankfully, my dedication never made me any shorter than the obstacles I faced. I started my journey through a minor municipal school in my area, in Lucknow. I somehow predetermined my faith in the power of education and knowledge prevailed over distractions. For further studies, I decided to put up in BHU, where despite my poor financial conditions I managed to reserve my seat.

All through my years, I developed intense awareness and knowledge about technology specifically, in IT sector. The rising energy was enthralling enough to captivate any young mindset who is witnessing the revolution in the world of Artificial Intelligence. I was lucky enough to gather fulfilling a set of knowledge via one of the most prestigious institutes in India. That was the time our IIT network introduced me to a revolutionary app for connectivity. My first encounter with Opentalk was for a testing purpose and soon I started liking the concept of meeting a new person and sharing the vast array of knowledge everytime on the section you want to. The app lets you explore as per your hobby and connects you with a right person which is a great way to gather knowledge from a person whom you have never met but has the right perspective on your queries.

Soon I was able to interact people who had a huge influence in the world of technology and suggested me to move abroad for further studies in none other than Columbia Business School which is one of the most renown names in the list of greatest institutes. At first, I was uncertain because of my poor financial conditions, but people whom I met on Opentalk were kind enough knowing my potential and started a fundraising plan for my further studies on Opentalk itself. I was fortunate enough to get such immense support and got admission in Columbia Business School. Opentalk literally changed my life and now I’m all set to use that immense bundle of knowledge in my country serving students like me.


Discovering relevant Alumni isn’t troublesome. Just Opentalk

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Alumni’s play a major role in our schooling life. As, they are experienced and have gone through what the current students are going through. Be it suffering the study pressure, board exams, school facilities or coping up with studies and peace of mind, Alumni’s can guide students like no other guardian can do.

I am a student of class 11th and a vice captain of my school. Being a vice caption I have had certain duties towards school and students, and one of them was checking the suggestion box that is filled by students and coordinating with the students accordingly, regarding the issues and suggestions.

A few months back, when I was following up all other duties, I checked the suggestion box and found many suggestion and issues regarding the study pressure and lack of experience to cop up with it. And when I thought of settling down a meeting with students, I found that the study pressure issue was majorly concerned with students who will be giving board exams in next 2 months, that is 10th and 12th grade students. The majority of students from 10th standard was concerned about the pattern of the question paper and was confused by the irrelevant suggestions  given by each person to appear in board exams.

Considering the situation of students and my duty, I thought of talking to the school management. And as discussed in the meeting, the mutual decision was to organize an event that would basically be a counseling sessions for students, and planned to invite the Alumni’s as they can completely relate to the situation of students and can share their tips and help them overcome the fear of boards and study pressure.

Though, the biggest challenge came in for me was to invite relevant Alumni’s for the event. Then, one of my fellow classmate introduced me to a very interactive app named, Open Talk. Open talk app is very user friendly and let you access people from the same interest as yours. Also, this app has an amazing feature that actually came to my rescue, it let me connect to the Alumni’s of my school pretty easily. I just tapped onto the explore button and marked my school name, and a “join circle” screen popped up. There, I filled a few questions according to the interest and the kind of Alumni I am searching for and submit it. Just after that, a talk circle was created in which I found Alumni’s from my school.

After coordinating and inviting the Alumni’s on Open talk app, they came to the event and gave their special tips and motivation to the students. The event was successful and the motif behind the event was achieved, as it helped the students a lot and they were satisfied with the accurate guidance.

I would whole heartedly thanks open talk for being the major factor that totally helped me complete my goal to make students stress free by finding relevant Alumni.