GoGo is an Android lock-screen app where you can read a variety of news content from 42 sources. Once you install the app, you can choose from 14 categories of topics, including News & Life, Technology, Sport, Travel, Movies & Celebs and more. Once you’ve made your selection, you can pick if you want the content in Hindi, English or both.
On your lock screen, you can skim through the stories by swiping up and down. Swiping right will unlock the phone and earn you three points and swiping left and reading the story will earn you five points. Each point is worth 1 paisa. You can redeem the money by recharging your phone once you accumulate 5000 points. For postpaid bill payment that amount is 10,000 points. You start with 500 points when you register for the app.
Initially, the app is confusing to use and it certainly needs design improvements. We talked to the founder Daman Soni and he said, “Our aim here is to make people read the news and give them something back as a reward. And then they can use that money for talk time or data. Our app is very lightweight, and each news card consumes less than 3KB of data.”
He added, “I am a big supporter of net neutrality so I though this is a good way to make internet accessible to people. And we earn by putting ad-cards in the app. People also earn points if they install the app in the ad. In our next version, we are going to improve the design and give the user an option to use the app even without putting it on the lock screen.”
In the news app space, Newshunt is arguably the biggest name in India, providing content in more than 12 languages from 175 publications. But recently, apps likeInshorts, which provides you the news in the form of 60-word cards have gained a lot of traction and user base. Recently, Quartz released a quirky iPhone app which provides news in the form of chat.
Incidentally, providing recharge or data for usage of services is not new in India. A start-up called Gigoto has an app where you can get paid in terms of data by using certain services. This model gets a big thumbs up from net neutrality activists.