Patanjali's Kimbho. The Swadeshi WhatsApp?

Kimbho. First off, is that really their logo? Please tell me it's the work of some creative troll. Like, really? They put a conch shell on the WhatsApp icon? I demand to know the name of the genius behind this. And did you know that “Kimbho” is Sanskrit for “How are you”? And “How are you” is the Gen X version of “What’s Up”. But yes, Kimbho is totally a different app. Like the different shade of green they used. I can’t even.

Now, in case you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a little bit about Kimbho’s existence.

Two months ago Ramdev Baba’s Patanjali released an app that would serve as an alternative to WhatsApp for Indians. This “Swadeshi Messaging App” was the idea of a former Google and Yahoo techie, Aditi Kamal. She pitched her idea to Ramdev Baba and the seniors (citizens) at Patanjali and the concept of a home-grown chatting platform was immediately approved. Their only criteria given to Aditi was to build a product with advanced encryption standards where data leaks would be impossible. This was because they wanted to protect Indians from the type of the data leaks that happened on Facebook.

On the 30th of May, the app was released. Officially released. And then it vanished the next day. Why? Because it was, and I’m quoting Elliot Alderson, “The #Kimbho #android #app is a security disaster. I can access the messages of all the users”.
(Elliot Alderson is a twitter account who claims to be a “French security researcher. The worst nightmare of Oneplus, Wiko, UIDAI, Kimbho and others.”.)

How did Patanjali deal with this disaster? They claimed that it was a test release. Which one of you buys it? Who does beta testing with a formal release? That’s like delivering a baby and saying that it was a practice delivery. IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE!

“build a product with advanced encryption standards where data leaks would be impossible” totally.

The app has features like, sending of free text messages and there’s a feature to follow updates from Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna, because who doesn’t want to do that? There’s also something called  ‘ghost messages’ which allows sending of time-sensitive chats that disappear after reading…so… Snapchat? Instagram? WhatsApp? Facebook? Which one are you trying to be?

They apparently fixed all the technical glitches and were going to release it again, TODAY. They stated "27th August" on multiple platforms as the release date but ended up releasing the app on Wednesday (22nd August), only to be met with more complaints from first-time users. At least this time they’re calling it a trial version.

Did you download it?

Photo credit: Inc42 (content image), (cover), My smart price (list image)

WRITTEN BY  - Shubhroja Sen



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