As Twitter is currently facing legal actions and while the government decides on whether or not the microblogging site will be banned, let’s talk about our very own desi alternative, Koo which even got a mention in our Prime Minister’s Mann ki Baat.
Koo was co-founded by entrepreneurs Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidwatka. Radhakrishna had founded the online cab booking service TaxiForSure, which was subsequently sold to Ola Cabs. Prior to Koo, its parent company — Bombinate Technologies Pvt Ltd — launched and is operating the Indian version of Quora called Vokal.
Koo was launched in early 2020 and its participation and the subsequent winning of the government’s Atmanirbhar App Innovation Challenge brought it under the limelight. Following the Aatmanirbhar Challenge, the app was also mentioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Mann Ki Baat address.
Koo allows people to create and share posts, and even use hashtags. Koo claims that it is the first social media platform globally to use the “Talk to type” feature in the Indian regional and local languages – Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, and Marathi – apart from English. With this feature, users don’t have to use the keyboard anymore to type out lengthy thoughts, instead, they can just speak their mind and the words will show up on the screen magically.
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Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, Law & IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Members of Parliament Tejasvi Surya and Shobha Karandlaje, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, Isha Foundation’s Jaggi Vasudev, former cricketers Javagal Srinath and Anil Kumble are among the politicians, ministers, and celebrities to have joined the app. In addition, the Union IT Ministry, India Post, and the Niti Aayog are among the government departments to have an account on the app.
Notably, while Twitter & GoI are at loggerheads over issues on compliance with the new social media rules, Koo has said it has provided the “necessary details”, as sought by the IT ministry.
Koo, a microblogging platform that has many similarities to Twitter, has crossed over three million users in February this year.