Indian American businesswoman Prerna Gupta launches iPhone app ‘Hooked’ for short fiction

1,000 word stories are for the ‘Snapchat Generation’.

Raif Karerathooked

An Indian American businesswoman and author has recently launched an iPhone app that serves up short stories for a younger generation of readers that she refers to as the “Snapchat generation.”

Hooked is a medium-blending app that features short fiction for young-adult readers. Hooked Founder Prerna Gupta claimed that 80 percent of young-adult novels are read digitally, so the teenage demographic seemed like the most natural audience, reported to CNN Money.

Each book will be roughly 1,000 words and is designed to be read in about five minutes. The stories will be told entirely through dialogue and read like texts; messages show up on screen when readers click “Next.”

Hooked lets you read one story a day for free, but users who want a broader range of access will have to subscribe. Unlimited access cost anywhere between $3 a week and $40 a year.

A TechCrunch reporter who read one of the stories offered a short review of the fiction on offer: “I read one of them, ‘Unknown,’ and while I don’t think it was a great piece of literature, I have to admit that the mystery grabbed me — I kept hitting the ‘Next’ button until I reached the end.”

The stories on Hooked are all commissioned by parent company Telepathic, of which Gupta is CEO, but their long term plans include turning Hooked into a writing platform based on the model of Wattpad or Medium, only with a focus on much shorter works, reported Fast Company.

“Long-term, our goal is for everyone inside the app to have the ability to write,” Gupta says. “One of the things we hope Hooked will do is encourage more people to write fiction and to understand that we all have the ability to express ourselves in this way,” Gupta said. “Obviously writing a 100,000-word novel is daunting for most people. But writing a 1,000-word text-message story—maybe that’s something that’s more accessible to a broader set of people.”

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