MouthShut.com

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MouthShut.com
Type of business Private company
Type of site
social media consumer reviews
Headquarters Mumbai, India
Founder(s) Faisal Farooqui
Industry business ratings and reviews, product discovery
Slogan(s) Your Opinions Matter
Website mouthshut.com
Advertising enterprise subscription based, customized marketing
Registration Required for posting
Current status Active
Native client(s) on iOS, Android, Windows

MouthShut.com is a user-generated content and consumer review web site.

On April 29, 2013, MouthShut.com filed a petition in the Supreme Court of India to nullify India's Information Technology Rules 2011. The verdict was in favor of the petitioners Mouthshut.com v. Union of India

MouthShut.com's work has been mentioned in the Wall Street Journal,[1] Entrepreneur Magazine,[2] and London's Financial Times.[3] MouthShut.com's founder and CEO Faisal Farooqui has been named among the Top Contemporary Entrepreneurs in India.[4]

Background[edit]

MouthShut.com was founded in 2000 by Faisal Farooqui. The website hosts reviews of restaurants, movies, FMCG goods, travel destinations, banks etc.[5] The Indian blog contentsutra.com reports that MouthShut.com pioneered the user-generated content space in India [6] Mouthshut has been featured in The Economic Times, Times of India, CNBC, NDTV, and Star News.[7]

The company was founded in Mumbai (Bombay), India and according to India's largest newspaper, The Times of India, MouthShut.com is the leader in the user-generated content space in India.[8]

Relevance of user generated reviews and MouthShut.com's impact[edit]

Asian Age newspaper stated that most Indians online are referring to MouthShut for first hand product reviews and product information [9]

In a CNBC- TV 18 interview MouthShut.com's CEO stated that MouthShut.com has more than 2 million (2005) registered users.[10]

Partnership with Google[edit]

MouthShut is part of Google's snippet program. This Rich Data Format allows Google to display product ratings from MouthShut.com directly in Google Search result.[11]

MouthShut.com participates in Google's AdSense Publishing Program. Although this is not an exclusive arrangement with Google, MouthShut's use of AdSense is a Google case-study.

MouthShut I Ate Here Awards[edit]

In 2012, MouthShut.com launched the I Ate Here Awards to recognize Best Restaurants in popular cuisine categories. The awards, presented as a well-designed framed certificate are based on thousands of user reviews and ratings submitted on MouthShut.com and cover categories such as Indian Food, Chinese Food, Continental Food, South Indian Food etc. In 2012 MouthShut.com employees physically presented the awards by visiting restaurants and eateries in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Jaipur, Pune and Lucknow.[12]

SMS Reviews and User Interface[edit]

In 2008, MouthShut.com announced the MouthShut Mobile Service. Users can send SMS-based reviews. Any cell phone user can post on MouthShut through short messaging by sending it to +919769696967.[13][14] Mouthshut discontinued this feature in 2013 after launching its mobile app.

MouthShut in academic research[edit]

Due to the depth and variety of original content published, MouthShut.com has been used by researchers in the corporate and academia to understand consumer behavior. A number of articles and MouthShut's content has been used to cite consumer and culture pattern, such as Advertisement And Promotions: An Imc Perspective by Alan D'souza Kruti Shah (Paperback - 2008) [15][16]

A book published by Klett Verlag GmBH in Germany included reviews from MouthShut.com as additional reading material. This was used in Germany for school-level reading material.[17]

MouthShut.com has been used as a case study in Consumer Behavior (Wayne et. all, 2008) [18]

MouthShut controversy[edit]

To protect its review writers from manipulation from brands, Mouthshut has a stated goal that it will never reveal the identity of any of its writers unless requested by a court order. Mouthshut.com has been vocal in safeguarding the consumers interest and hence moved the Supreme Court against sec. 66A of the IT Act as well as reading down of the Rules for taking down of content.

In 2006, India's Financial Express reported that Yahoo and MSN were in acquisition talks with Mouthshut.com However, this was denied by the CEO of Mouthshut who said they are just looking for business expansion.[19]

Blocked by an Indian ISP[edit]

On Feb 3. 2014, a regional Indian ISP, Beam Fiber blocked access to MouthShut.com for the entire city of Bangalore and Hyderabad. As a result more than half a million people could not access mouthshut.com.[20] On Feb 5, 2014, Beam Fiber unblocked the website. Indian laws do not allow ISPs to block a website unless ordered by the Department of Telecom. MouthShut.com has termed the block as illegal and has sought compensation from the ISP. MouthShut.com highlighted this illegal blockage in its petition to the Supreme Court of India. [21]

Supreme Court petition and verdict[edit]

On April 29, 2013, MouthShut.com filed a petition in the Supreme Court of India to nullify India's Information Technology Rules 2011. The petition pleads to the Supreme Court that the IT Rules, 2011 should be struck down because they are so vague that it cannot be predicted with certainty as to what is prohibited and what is permitted. A consequence of this law would be the delegation of essential executive function to private parties like MouthShut.com to censor and restrict free speech of citizens or else face legal challenge for user's content.[22]

On Monday, March 23, 2015, Mouthshut.com won the case against Union of India and the article 66A has been struck down by the Supreme Court of India.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Beware of the Unhappy, Web Savvy Customer - India Chief Mentor - WSJ". blogs.wsj.com. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  2. ^ <http://www.mouthshut.com/help/press.php>
  3. ^ "India: Diligent shoppers offer opportunity to manufacturers - FT.com". ft.com. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "India: Diligent shoppers offer opportunity to manufacturers - FT.com". ft.com. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Media Inquiries: The Times Of India - MouthShut.com". mouthshut.com. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  6. ^ "“We Pioneered User-Generated Content Six Years Ago” | Gigaom". contentsutra.com. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  7. ^ "Media Inquiries: The Economic Times - MouthShut.com". mouthshut.com. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  8. ^ "Media News, Media Advertising, Media Agency, Advertising, Media & Marketing". agencyfaqs.com. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  9. ^ "Media Inquiries: The Asian Age - MouthShut.com". mouthshut.com. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  10. ^ "MouthShut CEO on CNBC Video, Breaking, India, Free, Online, Download, News & Current Affairs Videos - dekhona.com". dekhona.com. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  11. ^ "Good News For our Dear Internet Users!!! - Vikram_Tech Blog - MouthShut.com". mouthshut.com. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "afaqs! > News > Company Briefs > Mouthshut.com announces the results of 'I Ate Here' Awards". afaqs.com. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  13. ^ "Indian Advertising, Media, Marketing, Digital, Advertising Agencies - afaqs!". digital.afaqs.com. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  14. ^ "9769696967 - say goodbye to Premium Rates - jasmine Blog - MouthShut.com". mouthshut.com. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  15. ^ "Advertisement promotions alan souza kruti Books: Online Shopping in India - Buy Books, Mobiles, Cameras, Laptops, Watches, Apparels, Baby Care Products and Other Products Online at Flipkart.com". flipkart.com. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  16. ^ "Advertising and Promotions Information Center:". highered.mcgraw-hill.com. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  17. ^ "Ernst Klett Verlag - Schulbücher, Lehrmaterialien und Lernmaterialien". klett-verlag.de. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  18. ^ Hoyer, W.D.; Macinnis, D.J.; Dasgupta, P. (2008). Consumer Behaviour, 2008 Edition. Dreamtech Press. ISBN 9788177227543. 
  19. ^ http://archive.indianexpress.com/news/yahoo-msn-in-race-for--stake-in-mouthshut/170806/
  20. ^ "Update: Mouthshut Blocked By Beam Fibre; Issue Escalated To TRAI And DoT - MediaNama". medianama.com. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  21. ^ "Mouthshut finally unblocked, will consider legal action against ISP". exchange4media.com. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  22. ^ "MouthShut.com Approaches Supreme Court to Safeguard Freedom of Expr.." slideshare.net. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 

External links[edit]