PESHAWAR: As novel as it sounds, Mardan’s 18-year-old Shahzad has developed a social networking portal that does not require an internet connection – “Smile SMS”.
The SMS-based social networking service enables users to gather local and international information on their phones, free of cost, without using the internet.
IT-savvy Shahzad has been into developing programmes and websites ever since he was in grade six. This hobby transformed into passion and helped him achieve a lot at a very young age.
Smile SMS – the first of its kind service launched in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa – operates similar to Facebook, however, the only difference is that an internet connection is required for Facebook, while Smile SMS can be used without it.
“This service helps you update your status, let your friends comment on it and make new friends,” said Shahzad. “In K-P, not a lot of people have access to the internet, so I thought of developing a unique programme for them.”
Shahzad said he has done the first network test of the service and currently it can afford up to one million people. “We are planning on expanding and updating the service too.”
Sajjad Khan, one of the users of the service said that in his village, hundreds of students don’t have internet access to use this service. “This is the first time that such a service has been launched in K-P. It is benefitting a lot of people, said Khan.
Shahzad also said that the people of K-P can also make a name for themselves in the field of IT, only if the government encourages them.