Replica of Facebook, social networking application gains popularity
Ban on social media in Kashmir ignited a thought in a 16-year old software enthusiast from here to “gift” a social networking application, on pattern of Facebook, to world from Kashmir.
Only a week after the state government banned Facebook and other social networking sites in Kashmir, Ziyan Shafi from Anantnag town came up with an alternative to facebook- Kashbook.
This highly secure site operates without a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and has become an instant hit in Kashmir with more than 10,500 users presently.
“The day authorities decided to block access to all social networking sites, I rang up my friend, Uzair, and decided to re-launch the site,” said Zeyan a class 10th pass out from Radiant Public School-Anantnag. “If the ban persists how Kashmiris will remain connected to the outside world and off late even VPNs are being blocked,” said Zeyan adding Kashbook was “an answer to the gag on social media.” Though the friends had launched the website in 2013, the ban necessitated its re-launch to help people remain connected to outside world.
Zeyan, son of a businessman, claims that even though the app will focus and promote goods and services made in Kashmir but its target is global. “Our effort is to motivate young Kashmiri youth to aspire for something big and contribute to the society,” said Zeyan who like his friend Uzair aspires to pursue software engineering too.
“There is also a market for buying and selling on the website,” he added.
Ask him why the name Kashbook, pat comes the response: “We wanted to give it a Kashmiri touch and at the same time make it a global portal. The app is a gift to world from Kashmir.”
He said he started learning HTML tags at the age of 11 and also acquainted himself with computer languages such as C++ and Java.
On the portal, one can add people and chat with them, post things along with many other features like the ones on other social media websites. “The messages are highly encrypted and as such very secure,” Zeyan claims adding.
Young Zeyan has also hired a “security team” which takes control of software malwares and monitor posts to remove the controversial stuff from the website which is gaining huge popularity in “social-media less Kashmir”.
The ever increasing traffic on the Kashbook has necessitated its up gradation as well. And Zeyan has lived up to the task.
“Initially, we had only 1200 Mega bytes RAM and there was likelihood of hackers attacking it and the app crashing. So, we then upgraded it to 2 GB and now 6 GB,” he said, adding they were also working on upgrading the bandwidth.