Amid the ongoing tussle between the government and microblogging site Twitter over blocking the content and accounts related to the farmer protests, Koo has suddenly become the talk of the town. Why is everyone Koo-ing all of a sudden? And what is this Koo all about? Well, it is being called as the desi version of Twitter in India. Made-in-India app Koo has become a new tool of conversation as several Union Ministers and ministries have made their accounts on the app.
What is Koo? Is it different from Twitter?
Koo is a micro-blogging platform. It is available as a website and on iOS and Google Play Store. You can post opinions on Koo publicly and follow other users as well just like Twitter. One can also post audio or video-based posts. ‘Koo’ also lets users rely on hashtags. “Creating your thoughts on Koo App is very easy! Type your thoughts or add an Audio / Video recording for more impact. Attach Web/YouTube links or share a picture too,” the app mentioned on its website.
“Just 10% of India speaks English. Almost 1 billion people in India don’t know English. Instead, they speak one of India’s hundreds of languages. They are now getting access to smartphones and would love the internet in their language. However, 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 on the internet in their mother tongue by listening to the views of some of the sharpest Indian minds and also speak their mind by sharing their thoughts.”
When was Koo launched?
After its launching around 10 months ago, Koo won the Aatmanirbhar App Challenge organised by the Indian government. The app was developed by Aparameya Radhakrishna (co-founder and CEO) and Mayank Bidawatka.
Languages available on Koo
Koo is an India-based app and focuses on allowing people to post in their language. When you are signing up it lets you choose from Indian languages at the time of setup. However, you can only choose one language. For instance, I could not pick both Hindi and English as an option. The languages supported at the moment are English, Hindi, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil Marathi, Bengali, Malayalam, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, and Gujarati.
How to download Koo?
Koo is available for download on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Users can download the social media app on their iPhone and Android devices.
A look at prominent Koo users
Among its early users are personalities like Sadhguru, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal, and former cricketers Anil Kumble and Javagal Srinath. Government think-tank NITI Aayog, too, has already opened an account on Koo.
The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), MyGov, Digital India, India Post, National Informatics Centre (NIC), National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT), Common Services Centre, UMANG app, Digi Locker, National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI), Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), and some other government departments have set up accounts on Koo.