Dr. APJ Abdulkalam, Former President of India has launched his e-paper initiative called ‘Billion Beats’ on India’s most populated social network, Facebook
“Don’t impose on me what I know; I want to explore the unknown, and be the source of my discoveries. Let the known be my liberation, not my slavery”. Thus begins the first stanza of the ‘Student’s Prayer’ in one of the issues of Billion Beats, an e-paper initiative by former President of India, Dr. APJ Abdulkalam.
Founded on November 14, 2007, Billion Beats sought to publish inspiring stories and ideas by Dr. Kalam to bring about his vision of a developed India by 2020. In a bid to reach out to the youth of India, Billion Beats has now been launched on Facebook.
The recent page has already garnered more than 29,000 fans with 31,000 talking about it. What’s particularly impressive is the About section replete with mission, description and full contact details. Most of the updates are around changing the cover photo of the page and the unique experiences shared by Kalam. Though these are very early days to be talking about the content, the posts seem to have drawn a decent amount of awareness and engagement.
The power of social media is being realised only now. The Indian Government, which was opposing the growth of free speech and even tried to curb social media by bringing in regulations last year, has taken a completely new stance this year. The PMO office representing our PM has logged onto social media and even though the presence is a mouth piece but gladly it has made some move. Later came West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee’s shocker of a news when she joined Facebook, when only a few months back she had adamantly opposed it and wanted to get her morphed images deleted from the network.
Coming onto Facebook may well have been an exercise in damage control or a political masterstroke, where she is strongly lobbying for Kalam as President. However, it makes this clear – nobody can afford to avoid social media.
Despite being impressed with the Billion Beats logging onto Facebook now, I can’t help wondering – why now? Has the recent success of Mamata on Facebook triggered this? Or was it part of the plan to enter Facebook this year. Whatever the reason, this move into Facebook is a few years too late.
India has the third largest number of users on Facebook as per the current data from Social Bakers. To add to this, a major chunk of Facebook users in India fall in the 18-24 years category, followed by users in the age category 25-34.
For an individual or a brand, this means Facebook shouldn’t be ignored anymore. And since Kalam’s objective was always about reaching out to the youth, this is a masterstroke by Billion Beats.
By transferring the e-paper from its erstwhile location, Dr. Kalam’s website to the all new Facebook, is surely going to increase its reach and visibility – the two most important factors for a paper.
What are your thoughts on Dr. Kalam’s Billion Beats coming onto Facebook? Do share with us.