Technology

How Pixalive, India’s own social media app, came into play

There’s a popular quote in the television series Game of Thrones which goes, “Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armour, and it can never be used to hurt you.” This rings true in the case of Rajasekar Sundaresan, CEO and Founder of Pixalive, a social network application made in India. He decided to wear his social status as an armour after being constantly denied opportunities.

Hailing from a family of farmers in Krishnagiri, Rajasekar was passionate about engineering, but wasn’t financially ready. There was a ray of hope when he met Dr APJ Abdul Kalam at MIT, asking for financial support. In a way, the seed for his dreams was sown by Kalam.

How Pixalive, India’s own social media app, came into play

Armed with a degree in Electronic Engineering, Rajasekar was doing good for himself as a network engineer in Wipro. He was planning to leave for Canada along with his fiancée.

All was well, until the bride’s parents discreetly married their daughter to a wealthy groom.

It was the same month when the Snapchat CEO made a controversial statement that his app was not meant for “poor countries like India”.

“The incidents hit me hard and I began to introspect. I decided to create a social media platform based in India,” says the 28-year-old.

With his networking experience, Rajasekar was confident about the overall wireframing of the application. But he wasn’t sure how things worked in the real world. Which is why he met Ankush Sachdeva, CEO of ShareChat, in Bangalore in 2017. “I had the idea and Ankush had the team, I thought we could work together. But he turned down the offer,” he says.

He was also in contact with Kavin Bharti Mittal, CEO of Hike messenger, “Since I’m a newcomer, I was very nervous. I contacted them mainly to understand the workflow,” he adds.

It was his father who came to his rescue. The real challenge, Rajasekar says, was to convince his farmer-father about the start-up.

How Pixalive, India’s own social media app, came into play

For Pixalive to come alive, he had to pledge his only asset — agricultural land.

How it works

A simple search on Google Play results in scores of applications that offer a variety of services. But what if there was an app that brought together all the features under one umbrella? This was the brainchild of Rajasekar Sundaresan.

“There are two ways of looking at it. Firstly, the app is made in India, which means that your data is safe here. And secondly, people are dependent on various applications that consume both time and memory. For instance, they use TikTok and Dubsmash for videos, Instagram for photos and so on. With Pixalive, we wanted to develop an user-friendly app,” he explains. On the surface, Pixalive is divided into five regions and has three feeds — Following, For Me and Near Me. While basic features include text, photo and video, the app stands out with its voice-to-text conversion, which Rajasekar believes will be helpful for less-privileged users. It has a discover option that allows users to follow people. The app comes with a predefined algorithm that lists ‘must-follow’ users, shortlisted based on the number of likes for their posts. Another highlight is its distance option, that displays content trending around a particular locality. But where the app falters is that the posts will automatically disappear after seven days.

Rajasekar is ecstatic that Pixalive has garnered over 60,000 downloads and 57,000 active members from over 100 countries, since its launch in December last year. Basking in the glory, Rajasekar is equally puzzled about the reception, “Even for Snapchat, it took eight months to get that reach. I think people must have watched my speech that’s gone viral.”

When Rajasekar started out, nobody believed his vision, “Now, a lot of investors are approaching me,” he smiles.

Pixalive app is currently available only for Android users. For details, visit: http://pixalive.me

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 1:15:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/how-pixalive-indias-own-social-media-app-came-into-play/article25888719.ece

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