Koo rose to prominence after renewed government support for Made in India products. The microblogging website was launched in 2020. It now has around 30 million downloads across the world. A senior company official told PTI that it has seen 10-fold growth in the past year alone. The company’s co-founder and CEO, Aprameya Radhakrishnan, said he expects to reach over 100 million users by the end of this year.
The platform is currently available in India and Nigeria. It plans to launch in other multilingual countries like Indonesia. The app prides itself on its versatile approach by offering regional languages. The app currently supports 10 languages, including English as well.
Koo has raised $45 million (around Rs. 350 crore) and will “review funding plans” by the end of 2022, he said, adding that the company would be “ready to explore different types of monetization options” in the next two years. years.
“We have 7-8 million monthly active users and expect 100 million downloads by the end of 2022. In India, we are bigger than Twitter in terms of non-English speaking user base, and our target is to conquer the domestic market and become the largest microblogging platform in the country. We will do that in the next 12 months,” Radhakrishna told PTI in an interview.
Koo now has an “80% non-English speaking” user base, with Hindi microbloggers holding the largest share, followed by Kannada, Telugu, Marathi and Bengali, he said.
Asked if Musk’s proposed $44 billion (roughly Rs. 3,41,100 crore) takeover of Twitter had any impact on Koo, Radhakrishna said: “The acquisition is a phenomenon of the English world. We haven’t seen any positive or negative effects from this.
“The reason we started Koo is that when it comes to freedom of expression on the internet, it’s very limited to people who know English very well. We launched the adventure to allow people to communicate in their own language. Being open, transparent and impartial as a social media platform is very important, he said.
“Our goal is to continue to increase user confidence and earn their trust. We have opened the site’s algorithms to the public. Elon Musk proposes to do the same for Twitter. User authenticity on the platform is also important, and we have enabled people to self-verify using government ID documents like Aadhaar. It encourages more genuine users to be associated with our site,” the IIM-Ahmedabad alumnus said.
“We developed the platform uniquely so that users can post in multiple languages. It is essential and important for us to capture the non-English speaking market in India and connect it to English speaking users. Speaking on the issues of fake accounts, abusive posts or hate speech, he said: “Users are free to express what they want and make up their minds but they have to follow the law of the land. , on the basis of which Community directives are created. We encourage respectful freedom of expression. Koo plans to set up an advisory council to deal with sensitive and extreme cases where some might consider a particular message to be “hate speech,” while others might consider it “freedom of speech,” said Radhakrishna.
He said it is important to have a process to deal with such extreme situations. The proposed board could include 5 to 11 members in different fields, he said.
“We are working on it and hope to train the body in a year,” he added.
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