TEHRAN, Iran – Introducing the newest member of the Nokia Conversations family: welcome to Goftogoo (Farsi for ‘Conversations’).
When you realize the Persian language is spoken by a nation with a population of 72 million, it’s pretty obvious that Nokia would want to connect with them.
And when you learn that 70 per cent of those Iranians are under the age of 30, the decision to launch a Conversations blog in Farsi was a no-brainer.
Hamidreza Nikdel, Nokia communications manager in Iran, explains: “For the past three years I have been thinking of ways for Nokia to communicate with Iranian consumers.
“We have already launched a newsletter which comes out twice a month and is available at our Farsi website.
“A Farsi Conversations blog was the obvious next step because it enables two-way communication between Nokia and its customers and between customers themselves.
“It serves online consumers who want to learn more about Nokia news, products and services, both locally and globally, in their native language.
“But in the absence of social networks, the blog also allows people with a common interest in mobile technology to share their views.”
Hamid launched Goftogoo with the backing of his General Manager Forouhar Foroutan and other team members, ensuring it complies with Iranian regulations, but the blog could pull in millions more readers. The culturally rich language, with its globally influential literature, is also primarily spoken in Afghanistan and Tajikistan.
But there are many Farsi speakers in Uzbekistan, Turkey, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, taking the total to around 200 million.
Blogging is big in Iran, especially in the IT field. And Hamid has been pleasantly surprised so far by the level of engagement.
“Consumers have a high level of knowledge about Nokia devices and services,” he says.
“We are open to all kinds of feedback and are not afraid to publish negative sentiment.
“Our only moderation policy red line is that comments must be relevant and not political in any way.”
The Iranian Conversations blog is not just a translation of the global site. What makes it unique for Hamid is that it means Iranians can be better informed about Nokia services specific to them, instead of having to rely on global sites with information that might not be relevant.