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Explained: Koo App’s Rise, Users & How it Plans to Take on Twitter

As many as three million people downloaded the Koo app in the last 24 hours.

Updated
Tech and Auto
3 min read
Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Piyush Goyal as well as Union Electronics & IT Ministry are  on Koo app. Image used for representation. 
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The tussle between Twitter and the Indian government has led to a massive traction for Indian social micro blogging platform, Koo. In only 24 hours, as many as 3 million people downloaded the mobile application.

The desi platform is witnessing high popularity among several politicians and authorities, soon after Twitter refused to follow the government’s order of blocking 1,400 accounts for spreading misinformation and uploading provocative content.

However, after a legal non-compliance notice was served to Twitter from the Central government, the social blogging website immediately flagged 500 accounts.

Following which, Twitter, in a blog post informed that it has not blocked accounts consisting of ‘news media entities, journalists, activists and politicians’ as doing so would violate their freedom of expressions as guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.

Nevertheless, the fight between Twitter and the Indian government has benefited Koo, and is one of the reasons for its massive popularity in a short span. Here’s everything you need to know about the app:

What is Koo app?

Koo is an Indian app, alternative to Twitter, which allows its users to post text, voice messages, photos, videos and has six Indian languages support available, including English.

The app is a part of the ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’ campaign and was released a year ago, but has only witnessed massive traction in the last 24 hours.

Who Are the founders?

The founder of Koo are Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidawatka, who are also the founders of Vokal, a multimedia platform similar to Quora.

The app was originally launched in March 2020, under the ‘Aatma Nirbhar Campaign’, where the app also won a government award for driving tech innovation in the country.

Why Are Indians Switching To Koo?

After Twitter did not fully comply with some of the requests made by the Indian government for blocking 1,137 accounts with ‘Pak based’ and ‘Khalistani links’, several ministers, including Piyush Goyal, requested people to join Koo.

Who All Are on Koo?

In the last 24 hours, several ministers and high profile celebrities have joined Koo, including Union Minister Piyush Goyal and Ravi Shankar Prasad. Some famous names from Bollywood include singer Jaswinder Singh, actor Ashutosh Rana, actor Anupam Kher, and many others.

Many government departments, including Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY) are on Koo as well. Moreover, MeiTY published its reaction on Twitter’s blog post on Koo’s handle.

Is Koo Funded by Chinese Investors?

Founder and CEO of Koo app, Aprameya Radhakrishna has admitted that it has a Chinese investor Shunwei that is on its way out, reported Moneycontrol.

Radhakrishna took to Twitter and said, “Koo is an Indian registered company with Indian founders and raised capital 2.5 years ago. Latest funds for Bombinate Technologies is led by a truly Indian investor, 3one4 capital. Shunwei (single digit shareholder), which had invested in our Vokal journey will be exiting completely.”

What Are Some of the Trending Hashtags on Koo?

Some of the trending Hashtags on Koo currently are: #modistrikesback, #koovstwitter, #bantwitter, #bharatiyasocialmedia, and #foreigndestructiveideology.

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Is Koo Like Parler?

Parler is an app that had attracted US conservatives as an alternative to Twitter and Facebook. However, when Koo founder and CEO Aprameya Radhakrishna was asked about the comparison between the two apps, he said, “We welcome everyone on board. We have Deve Gowda, Kumaraswamy, and DK Shivakumar on the platform already.”

Will the Content on Koo Be Moderated?

Radhakrishna informed The Economic Times that the app has around six moderators currently, solely for the Hindi language platform. However, if any content incites public violence, the founder said that an ‘advisory board will be created’ without any political leaning neither towards left nor right, so that the situation can be judged without any bias.

What Are Some Differences Between Koo & Twitter?

While Koo functions exactly like Twitter, there are some minor differences in the way both apps works. Here are some of the differences:

  • Koo allows 400 characters for each post, whereas Twitter posts have a maximum limit of 280 characters.
  • You can easily create an account on Koo by registering your phone number, whereas Twitter requires users to create an account by submitting their email address and password.
  • Users can also share audio notes on Koo, whereas Twitter does not have this function.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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