During the mid-summer of 2018, before Daastan Naama app was made available to the public through Google Play Store, an extensive marketing campaign was conducted on social media websites. The campaign, recorded under the hashtag of #OneOftheFifty, gained so much popularity and garnered an astonishing amount of traffic. People from all around the world wanted to be featured on Daastan Naama. Our team was constantly being asked questions to find out what it is that needed to be done to become a part of #OneOftheFifty. Speculations bloomed about who these celebrated authors were, how they were selected, and what is it that they were a part of.
Creative posters were designed which had the picture and name of the author, along with the title of their work which was to appear in Daastan Naama. The posters were titled with hashtags of #Top50AuthorsYouDontKnowAbout and #OneofFifty, which created a buzz in the whole community of Daastan over what was coming. Eventually it would become clear that the work of these authors would be uploaded to the app in the style of poetry recitals and podcasts. This innovative twist on sharing their work brought it to life, and that too in their very own voice.
Each author in the spotlight had something unique to add to the app. The very first one was Ms. Kayenaat Hameed Khattak, an English poetess whose poem “God is Great” was chosen for the app. The next author was Ms. Dania Shah, whose Urdu humorous prose “Muhabbat ki Shadi” found its way up, followed by Urdu prose of Ms. Durre Shahwar Ali. Other English poets featured included Ms. Waneeza Zia, Ms. Momina Latif, Ms. MaryamMr. Hassan Naqvi, Mr. Saad Ahmad, Ms. Maryam Arshad, etc. Mr. Morgan Melhuish, from the United Kingdoms, also contributed an English poem. Another very curious and pleasant feature was the addition of two Pashto poems by Ms. Spugmai Alee Khattak, and also a poetry piece in Punjabi by Mr. Abrar Nadeem, an award-winning author and script writer for PTV. A Punjabi play was also contributed by Ali Usman Bajwa.
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The members of Daastan are immensely proud of the way the company has scaled beyond even their wildest imaginations. It has been such a pleasure to watch the way it inspires not only them but thousands around the country. How artists step a little ahead of the game, and bring to the stage all the creativity that was hidden in them for ages before they tapped it. Daastan doesn’t just excel at the play of words, but rather it is a digital hub of activity. It is always on the lookout for carving out niches which can help the creatives get more involved with us. We look for opportunities to attain greater reach for those who we have already published. It was one such drive which led us to do the next big thing for Daastan.
Seeking the Digital Avenue
The internet presence of Daastan started from Facebook. From there, it went on to take over all of the major digital media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. What followed was Daastan’s very own website, and then, Qissa’s self-publishing portal. All of these mediums were received enthusiastically by our followers, and praised heavily in the public by the critics. Over the years, our team made it a point to strengthen our digital presence, providing professional and aesthetic upgrades to Qissa, and Daastan’s website for each new venture as it came along. And so, after having mastered the internet through most of the digital avenues that are offered, only one was missing – a mobile application.
It struck the team that most of their readers’ time online is spent on the phones rather than PCs.To increase our readership and make the work of our writers readily available, we must also provide it on their phones – much like any other eBook they would be reading. And so, the team dived headfirst into bringing this idea to reality. In July of 2018, Daastan Naama finally hit Google Play Store. Bursting with literary goodness, Daastan was now available just a touch away. The app’s interface was divided into two portions. One featured all the fiction published under the banner of The Stories Untold. The second was an interesting feature which had the poetry and other works of almost 50 authors, vocalized and brought to life by their own voice.
If you haven’t checked it out yet, download it on your mobile phones from Play Store now!