Koo, Koo, What is this buzz about? Koo app, which has a yellow bird as its logo. The Indian social media knockoff, with its rather said ‘sone ki chidiya’ icon, Koo is everything Twitter is not. And yet, it is also exactly like Twitter. It allows users to “koo”, as opposed to “tweet”, in Indian languages.
In the midst of the controversy in which well-known conventional app Twitter finds the masses, India’s very own micro-blogging platform Koo has seen a massive surge in users over the past week.
An important distinction is that you ‘koo’ instead of the tweet, and that too in up to 400 characters. The ballpark of avian references is rather persistent in this field, it seems. The government of India may make Koo, the desi alternative of Twitter, its first port of communication with the public. It wants to do this to encourage an Atma Nirbhar app, and have a second option to Twitter.
#kooapp was the top Twitter trend in India on Wednesday with nearly 21,000 posts, followed by #BanTwitter. “The last 48 hours has seen the largest number of sign-ups,” Koo’s co-founder Mayank Bidawatka told Reuters. “I’ve slept for two hours in the last few days.” But how did the Koo App gain popularity so fast?
Koo gained limelight after it won the Prime Minister’s Atma Nirbhar App Challenge last year, along with other homegrown apps like Chingari which has been positioning itself like a Made In India TikTok. Koo was also mentioned by the PM later on in one of his Mann Ki Baat episodes.
Let’s check out how Koo is different from Twitter?
The character limit for a ‘Koo’ is 400, as opposed to Twitter’s character limit of 280.
The Koo website notes that only 10 percent of India speaks English and “almost 1 billion people in India don’t know English.” The website adds that the “majority of the internet has been in English. Koo is an attempt to make the voice of these Indians heard. They can now participate in the views of some of the sharpest Indian minds and also speak their mind by sharing their thoughts.”
It has also been noted that users will be able to find topics around their language of choice, and follow people in their spoken language. He also explained that because typing in regional languages can be painful for Indian users, the app has an option for audio and video posts to make things simpler.
“Koo will take a maximum of two to three years to mature. Unless the entire government machinery, from the Prime Minister to the ministers, withdraws from Twitter and shifts to Koo, the app can’t be a substantial alternative and will also be a passing fad like the other apps.” said Mumbai-based cyber expert and advocate, Vicky Shah told Odishatv.in.
Koo has seen over 1 lakh daily downloads in the last 48 hour and has now expanded its user base to around 3 million, or 3 million, or 30 lakh. It continued to see an unprecedented spike of 10-20x growth in new users, compared to a normal day, following Twitter’s refusal to remove certain Indian accounts and posts, according to Koo co-founder and CEO Aprameya Radhakrishna.