Koo, India’s Twitter alternative: Highs and Lows so far

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The tussle between the Indian Government and Twitter has led several ministers, politicians, and celebrities to move on to Koo App — a homegrown alternative to the microblogging site.

It all started when Twitter refused to comply with the state order of eliminating around 1100 handles and taking down contents from the platform. The center alleges the pointed accounts for spreading false information about the new agricultural laws that put waves to the widespread farmer protest.

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What is Koo App?

With an aim to provide a platform to speak our minds in major Indian languages, the Koo App was developed in early 2020 by entrepreneurs Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidwatka. Launched under the hood of Bombinate Technologies Pvt Ltd (Bengaluru), Koo App first came into the limelight after winning Atmanirbhar App Innovation Challenge. It has also received applaud from PM Narendra Modi, in his Mann Ki Baat address.

The Koo App has a Yellow-bird logo somewhat similar to Twitter. The working of symbols like ‘#’ and ‘@’ remains the same. The Koo App posts are referred to as ‘koo’, retweets are replaced by ‘re-koo’, and direct message transforms to ‘chat’. It lets you share your thoughts within a 350 character limit.

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The parent company of Koo App has earlier created Vokal — an alternative to Quora — based on Indian regional languages. Since then, Bombinate Technologies has attracted investments from leading venture capitalists. In the latest funding round, former Infosys CFO TV Mohandas Pai’s 3one4 Capital also invested to become one of the stakeholders.

With this, CEO Aprameya tweeted to announce that Koo App is now free of Chinese investors as few social media users raised questions. In an interview with CNBC TV18 on February 10, he clarified, “Shunwei had invested in the earlier brand Vokal. We have pivoted our business and focused on Koo, they are on their way out. They are being bought out by other people. We are a truly Atmanirbhar Bharat app.”

Prominent Accounts on Koo App

The campaign of ‘Vocal for Local’ has done a favorable impact on raising the popularity of the Koo App and is reported to have amassed around 30 lakh downloads.

Major faces who have joined the Koo App includes —

  • Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal
  • Law & IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad
  • Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa
  • MP Tejasvi Surya
  • BJP leader Sambit Patra, and more.

Apart from politicians, various celebrities like Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath, Anupam Kher, and Adnan Sami have also joined Koo.

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The way prominent faces are joining Koo App is a clear challenge to the US-based Twitter. It has already amassed 3 million downloads. This also shows the government’s grit to stimulate Aatmanirbharta. In the meantime, Twitter stands firmly on its take citing the right to free expression.

How to create a Koo account

Follow the steps below to set up an account on Koo. This works the same on Android and iOS:

  • Install and open the app.
  • Select your preferred language.
  • Enter your phone number and enter the OTP message you receive.
  • Once the account is registered, customize the profile by updating your personal details, username, bio, photo, and other things.
  • Finally use the platform by posting Koos, following, and engaging with others.

Sachin Deo VermaSachin Deo Verma
Sachin covers technology news at Smartprix and he also has a keen interest in automobile and electric vehicles. He keenly gains knowledge from various sources to be updated with the latest tech trends. He is also a passionate Potterhead who dabbles in literature, and poetry, and loves to travel.

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