Koo is an Indian Microblogging app that won the AatmaNirbhar App Innovation challenge last year. Since Prime Minister Modi of India mentioned the app in his Maan ki Baat show several ministers, government departments and celebrities have joined the app. The Koo app has been downloaded over a million times and has 4.6-star reviews on Google Play.
Who started Koo?
Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidawatka co-founded Koo app. The app won the AatmaNirbhar App Innovation challenge in India in August 2020.
What does it offer?
There is not much difference between Twitter and Koo when it comes to features. It allows users to write and share opinions like any other app. You can use Hashtags (#)too. However, this app’s main USP is that it enables a user to communicate with others in various Indian languages such as Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. Other Indian languages such as Bengali, Oriya, Punjabi etc. are being added to the app. Koo also allows a user post in 400 characters where as Twitter only permits 280 characters.
Why are Government officials in India joining the app?
It all started after the violent attacks on Law enforcement personals and innocent civilians by radical Sikh separatists on 26th January 2021. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) of India had asked Twitter to immediately block over 250 accounts which were tweeting like “farmer genocide by the government”, “Modi planning farmer genocide”, “Break India” etc. Twitter chose to ignore. Later on, MeitY asked Twitter to remove over 1000 accounts run by radical Sikh separatists and Pakistanis to spread disinformation and provocative, inflammatory slogans against India. Twitter chose to suspend some accounts temporarily and restored a few hours later. This mischief had clearly annoyed GOI, and a non-compliance notice was sent to Twitter. Quickly after that, media reports surfaced on the internet that Twitter may get banned. Top Twitter officials met with MeitY officials shortly after that, and as per media report, they were cautioned and was told to follow Indian rules. However, Twitter later responded “We strongly believe that the open and free exchange of information has a positive global impact and that the Tweets must continue to flow,” which caused another uproar in India Especially when the accounts were flagged by security agencies for being threat to pubic safety.
Several high ranking minister’s has already joined Koo.
Twitter will be banned in India!
The entire Donald Trump saga and how Twitter pro-actively handled the Capitol rioter accounts have created enough doubt worldwide. Germany chancellor Angel Markel even called out the former US Presidents account ban as problematic. Indian officials argued that if Twitter can block accounts which were used Capitol Riot in America then why not in India. Twitter’s policies can not override the local Indian law. Whatever it is, The Government of India is not happy with the way Twitter is operating in India. However, there is no indication from the government that there are planning to ban Twitter either.
We do not know what will be the outcome of Twitter Vs India tussle but the homegrown app is the clearly winning at the moment.
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