Should you go Koo, the desi alternative of Twitter?

Bhubaneswar:   With the air turning intense between the Indian Government and Twitter, the country’s home-grown micro-blogging website Koo has fetched quite a remarkable spotlight.

Developed by a Bangaluru-based startup co-founded by Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidawatka in March 2020, Koo is a Twitter-look-alike app that won the government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat app challenge in 2020.   By far, it has over 2.4 million downloads and a star rating of 4.7 on Google Play Store and is also available for iOS downloads. Prominent figures from the Government like Ravi Shankar Prasad, Piyush Goyal and Shivraj Singh Chauhan switched to Koo. However, the home-grown app got hyped after PM Narendra Modi talked about it in his Mann Ki Baat programme.

What are the similarities?

  • Tweets on Koo are called ‘Koos’
  • One can share a text with maximum limit of 400 characters or a one-minute video on Koo.
  • They can follow feeds of people they follow on the micro-blogging platform.
  • People can send and receive DMs on Koo
  • Weblinks and YouTube videos can be shared.
  • Hashtags can be used and people can be tagged on posts using ‘@’
  • There’s also a ‘Trending’ section to keep users updated about whatever is going on around the world.

What are the differences?  

  • Koo supports local languages- Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. It will soon add in the list Punjabi, Bangla, Malayalam, Assamese and Odia.
  • The feeds will be arranged chronologically with latest posts on the top, instead of feeds based on the basis of engagements.
  • To set up an account on Koo, one needs mobile number and an OTP. No e-mail id is required.

Worth mentioning here, Koo was developed way before the rift between the Indian Government and Twitter, an America-based microblogging platform. However, more people are switching to this homegrown app with every passing day.

The Indian Government is currently disseminating all the important announcements both on Twitter and Koo. It’s however unclear if the latter would become an exclusive platform for all Government announcements in near future.


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