‘Best measures against the new Covid variant’ was the topic of one session. Another was a kavi sammelan or a poetry meet. At micro-blogging platform Koo’s weekly online meet-ups—with a hundred or more participants, as per employees of the company—anything can be a point of discussion. Almost anything.
Except for one strict rule—“No discussions on politics or on religion,” according to an employee, and it runs counterintuitive to Koo’s fame. After all, the local language-focussed platform sprung sprung Reuters In spats with Twitter, India's government begins messaging shift to rival Koo Read more into the spotlight last year amid a public spat between the Indian government and Twitter.
Government ministers and senior leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) started opening accounts on Koo en-masse, hailing hailing BBC Koo v Twitter: Why India's government is favouring a social media newcomer Read more it as a homegrown alt Twitter. Overnight, downloads of Koo jumped by factors of over 10X, an ex-employee of the company told The Ken. In a few months, Koo would raise would raise The Economic Times Koo’s valuation rises five times in three months in new funding round Read more $30 million in its Series B funding, pushing its valuation to $100 million.
And yet, it seems Koo wants to step away from its (lucrative) political image.
Stressing on its plurality, Koo CEO Aprameya Radhakrishna* said, “Politics discussion is a small part of the overall platform. Talking about Koo in only an election context positions it as an only politics platform which is not the only thing it is.”
“We’re a platform which allows for free expression in local languages on various topics across sports, poetry, literature, entertainment, comedy and many others,” he added, choosing to not respond to a detailed set of questions sent by The Ken.
And yes, the local language focus is indeed “intrinsic to the DNA of the app”, as a former Koo employee said. Launched in early-2020, Koo follows the success of Vokal, a local-language-first, Quora-like Quora-like Quora Quora is a US-based social question-and-answer website, where participants can ask questions on a variety of topics, as well as answer questions posed by strangers. platform built by the same team.
But Koo’s 20 million downloads as of end-2021—and its targetted 100 million, as per as per Financial Express We want to be the largest opinion platform without an opinion of our own: Koo Read more Radhakrishna—don’t come from just having a local language focus.