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Koo CEO Shares What Makes World's Second-Largest Microblogging Platform So Special

© Photo : KooAprameya Radhakrishna, co-founder & CEO of Koo
Aprameya Radhakrishna, co-founder & CEO of Koo - Sputnik India, 1920, 23.12.2022
India's homegrown social network Koo is the second-largest microblogging site in the world, achieving more than 60 million downloads this week.
As Twitter continues to lose users after Elon Musk took charge and Indian users increasingly complain about its slow speed, more and more people are opting for the India-based microblogging platform Koo, which has seen a massive uptick in the number of newcomers recently.
Launched at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the platform Koo clocked a milestone in terms of downloads and entry into Brazil last month, as well as achieving 60 million downloads this week, making it the only Indian microblog competing with other global giants such as Twitter, Gettr, Truth Social, Mastodon or Parler. In terms of user downloads, Koo now stands second after Twitter.

Why is Koo Growing So Rapidly?

Koo co-founder Aprameya Radhakrishna, who now serves as the platform's CEO, says that the Indian microblog is the place to be for all those looking for alternatives following the turmoil at Twitter since Elon Musk took over the influential messaging app in late October.
He also highlighted innovative Koo's language options.
"We started this company because we saw that the world is divided by languages. 80 percent of the world speaks a non-English native language. People are unable to find and talk to each other easily," Radhakrishna told Sputnik in an exclusive chat on Friday.
He further revealed that to overcome this "language barrier", Koo "built very immersive and relevant tools to enable people to express themselves better in their native language."
Some of the major differences between Koo and other social media apps are its ability to allow you to communicate in your native language and to translate other languages into your own, as well as offering users the chance to post in multiple languages at the same time.
"The biggest difference between other social platforms and Koo is this perspective and mission to unite the world, despite the language barriers," the Koo founder noted.
This is perhaps the reason Koo is gaining traction wherever it is available. The app currently has users from more than 100 countries, including the US, UK, Singapore, Canada, Nigeria, UAE, India, and Nepal.
Given what's happening at Twitter, he said, there's a good opportunity for the Koo team to make the app available to the English-speaking world.
"When people compare us to Twitter and use this product they’ll realize how we are very different. We are a user-first company and want to provide access to the best that the internet offers, without charging for it," he added.
"Twitter charges users for basic services like a verification and edit functionality, which we offer for free, we have transparent policies on every subject, including transparency in our algorithms which are available on our site," Radhakrishna mentioned.

What Makes Koo So Special?

The platform is currently available in 21 different languages, including English, Hindi, Italian, Turkish, Spanish, Hausa, German, French, Bahasa (Indonesian), and Portuguese -- following its latest foray into the Brazilian market last month.
What's more, Koo appears to be gaining a wide audience in the Hindi-speaking northern states of India, where not many people are comfortable speaking and writing English. According to a media report published in September, Koo is the world's largest Hindi microblog with more than 10 million posts each month.
But there are other features that make users and creators value Koo as a real rival for western social media networks. According to Radhakrishna, these include it being:
Transparent & Neutral
Feature-rich & free: Koo has some of the most differentiated tools provided for free, compared to Twitter that's willing to charge its users
Language-enabled keyboard
Numerous editing features (editing Koos, saving & scheduling Koos, 500 character limit & others)
Longer Videos: Users can attach longer videos - up to 512 MB
More images: Up to ten
MLK (Multi-Language Kooing): Users can Koo in over 20 languages simultaneously
Free self-verification: Users can self-verify themselves within 15 seconds and prove that there's a real person behind the account while being anonymous.
People feed: People feed to easily find and follow other people

What Does the Yellow Bird Stand For?

Koo CEO also shared with Sputnik the story behind its iconic logo — a yellow bird that looks like a tiny canary.
Why a Bird?
"Homing pigeons are the precursors of modern messaging! Until the advent of the telephone, they were the most reliable method of long-distance communication. Koo essentially being a platform where information, thoughts, and opinions are exchanged, we felt a bird would truly reflect what we enable and offer," Koo CEO explained.
Why the name Koo?
According to Radhakrishna, "Koo symbolizes the sound of a bird and best represents the bird, while its color makes it look positive and happy and the name sounds easy to remember."
Why Yellow?
The color yellow evokes a positive sense of cheerfulness, which fits well with our vision to make Koo a happy platform, the Koo CEO concluded.

Expansion Plans

Radhakrishna also disclosed to Sputnik that the Bengaluru-based company is planning future expansion into markets such as the United States, Southeast Asia, and Europe.

"Koo already has multiple languages that are spoken in South Asia and South East Asia - Bahasa (for Indonesia), Thai (for Thailand), Vietnamese (for Vietnam), Tagalog (for Philippines). We will keep launching global languages so that millions can connect with each other better," Radhakrishna insisted.

"We will also expand to South America, Europe and the larger English-speaking world in America, UK, Australia, NZ and Canada," he signed off.