India's Twitter rival Koo: What is it? Who made it? What's it about? All your questions answered
Koo has managed to amass quite a large number of users already including some politicians, journalists and even government agencies.
Twitter is a micro-blogging platform that needs no introduction. The platform is fairly popular among its users for sharing their views and opinions instantaneously. Now, a home-grown social media app -- Koo -- is gaining popularity among users in India. And it is aiming to achieve something that Twitter couldn't - reaching out to the vernacular users. And all of this is rather "well-timed" as Twitter and the government of India are currently butting heads over banning certain accounts.
Irrespective of what that face-off might eventually result in, Koo has managed to amass quite a large number of users already including some politicians, journalists and even government agencies.
And while Koo has been in the news, the controversies have also begun, not surprisingly though.
Surely, you have questions about this desi version of Twitter. And we are going to answer them all.
What is Koo?
Koo as we mentioned before is a microblogging platform that is aimed to help users share their personal updates and opinions. It also aims to foster discussions around various interesting topics and empower users to express their thoughts in Indian languages. It won the Indian government's AatmaNirbhar App Innovation Challenge and it is already being used by personalities such as Sadhguru, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath etc.
Koo was launched back in March 2020 but it gained popularity after Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked about it in his Mann Ki Baat programme.
Who is the creator of Koo?
Koo has been made by a Bengaluru-based startup called Bombinate Technologies co-founded by Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidawatka. Prior to Koo, Radhakrishna co-founded cab aggregator TaxiForSure, which was acquired by Ola at $200 million back in 2015. Indian company 3one4 Capital led the latest round of investment in Koo by investing $4.1 million.
What is Koo all about?
Twitter has been around for a decade and a half now. While it has been able to unite the world by making discussions global and instantaneous, it is yet to penetrate deep in a country like India where languages pose serious challenges simply because there are so many of them. That is where Koo comes into the picture.
At the moment, Koo is available in five languages, which includes English, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. The platform will be available in seven Indic languages including Marathi, Bangla, Gujarathi, Malayalam, Oriya, Punjabi and Assamese soon.
“So, what Twitter hasn't been able to do is go deep into the market, and hence, keeping all conversations to the top 1% of India. What Koo will do is take those conversations deeper into India, including the language speaking Indian,” Aprameya Radhakrishna, CEO and co-founder at Koo told HT Tech.
If you are interested in an alternate, desi Twitter, Koo is something you can check out.
How is Koo different from Twitter?
Greater support for Indic languages is not the only feature that distinguishes Koo from Twitter. There are more. For instance, information on Koo is divided into two sections -- Feed and People. Twitter, on the other hand, has five sections, which includes Top, Latest, People, Photos and Videos. Apart from this, feed on Koo appears chronologically. Twitter, on the other hand, relies on complex algorithms to highlight the tweets that are more relevant to a particular user.
Twitter lets users share Tweets with up to 280 characters. This limit is raised to 400 characters in case of Koo.
Koo posts can also be edited, which is one thing Twitter doesn't allow you to do and users on Twitter have been requesting.
What are the similarities between Koo and Twitter?
It's true that Koo and Twitter are different. But there is a lot in common between these two platforms. Besides similarities in their premise (both are meant for tightly-worded conversations), there are similarities in their logos as well. Twitter's logo has a blue-coloured bird while Koo's logo has a yellow-coloured bird.
Apart from this, Koo also has trending topics and trending hashtags. Like Twitter, it is also moulded around the idea of getting the latest information from the people and accounts that a user follows.
How to create an account on Koo?
Creating an account on Koo is Simple.
On the web, go to Kooapp.com, click on Sign-in option, enter your mobile number, enter the OTP and you are good to go.
On Android or iOS apps: Download and install the app on your phone.
- Open the app.
- Tap on the ‘Select Language' screen choose your preferred language.
- Type your phone number in the following screen.
- Type in the verification code once you get it.
- Tap on the profile account from the top left corner in the app to open your account.
- Edit your account information and you are good to go.