Is Koo App, India’s Alternative to Twitter? How does it work and Who is behind this App? Lets get all our answers here.
What is Koo App?
Koo is a microblogging platform that allows users to share opinions and personal updates. It is an Indian alternative to Twitter. The app was developed in March 2020 and it has now come to light as many of the Indian officials have created their accounts on the new Indian app.
The app supports multiple Indian regional languages, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Oriya, Assamese and Punjabi. The multiple language options are to attract the Indian audience.
Koo app, just like Twitter allows users to share short posts that can include up to 400 characters. Additionally, users can also share videos, audio messages, photos and links.
Koo became the winner of AatmaNirbhar App Innovation Challenge organised by the Indian government in August 2020.
Who is behind the Koo App?
The platform is co-founded by Bangalore based entrepreneurs Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidwatka. Radhakrishna had previously started online cab booking service TaxiForSure, which was afterwards sold to Ola Cabs. Bombinate Technologies Pvt Ltd which is Koo’s parent company has earlier launched an Indian version of Quora called Vokal and is now operating it. The company had raised a series of funding in 2018 from a clutch of investors including Blume Ventures, Kalaari Capital and Accel Partners India. Former Infosys CFO TV Mohandas Pai’s 3one4 Capital has also joined in the latest funding list of those investing in Bombinate Technologies that was announced earlier this month.
How did Koo rise to fame?
Although was launched in early 2020, it came in limelight after it won the government’s Atmanirbhar App Innovation Challenge. When the centre was close on the heels of banning Chinese apps, Koo app, along with other India-made apps like Chingari and Zoho won the challenge and were launched. The government cited national security concerns in response to the ban of apps with Chinese links. Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the public in Mann Ki Baat has mentioned the Koo app.
Which prominent accounts are there on Koo App?
Ministers and celebrities who have joined the app include Law & IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Members of Parliament Tejasvi Surya and Shobha Karandlaje, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, Isha Foundation’s Jaggi Vasudev. The former cricketers like Javagal Srinath and Anil Kumble have also joined the app. Additionally, the government departments like the Union IT Ministry, India Post and the Niti Aayog made the account on the app.
What is the top political personalities significance in joining the App?
The key indicator of the government willingness to push an alternative is because the world’s largest platform Twitter has not responded in the most favourable terms to the Indian government demands, several ministers and politicians started putting weigh on this Indian microblogging site. The Union IT Ministry in a stern message to the Twitter said that it was an intermediary and that they are obliged to obey the directions given by the government and if refused to do so, they will invite penal action against them. The company was stated that if they will not comply with the government demands, it would lead to action taken against them under the Section69A (3) of IT Act and that could potentially land the senior officials in prisons with an additional financial penalty.
How to download Koo on Android and iPhone?
Koo app can be downloaded from both Google Play Store as well as Apple App Store. The app is free and has more than 1 million downloads.
What did Radhakrishna have to say about this?
Radhakrishna informed that the app development work started in November 2019 and app was launched in March 2020. He said that there is a significant rise in the number of downloads in the last 48 hours and this has been the highest number so far.
He said that the leaders from political parties have already joined Koo. He mentioned Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar, JDS stalwarts Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy are active on the Koo Kannada platform already.
Radhakrishna pronounced Koo as a hyperlocal app adding that it would deeply connect Indians. He added that the community relevant hashtags are shown on the app.
When Radhakrishna was asked about Koo’s approach to free speech, he said that the platform is formed to bring Indian’s voice in their language online and he believes in freedom of speech and it will be the same no matter what government is in power.
He stated that being a 10-month-old company, they will work with the government to ensure comfort and clarity to the users on their exceptions such as the threat to life will be handled. Some of the trending hashtags on Koo apps include Modi shows the way, arrest all instigators, ban Twitter, and Andolan jivi.