Koo (social network)

(Redirected from Koo App)

Koo is an Indian microblogging and social networking service, owned by Bangalore-based Bombinate Technologies.[3][4][5] It was co-founded by entrepreneurs Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidawatka. The app was launched in early 2020; it won the government's Atmanirbhar App Innovation Challenge which selected the best apps from some 7,000 entries across the country.[6]

Koo
Koo's logo
Screenshot
Koo's homepage on desktop version
Type of businessPrivate
Type of site
Available inMultilingual
Founded14 November 2019; 4 years ago (14 November 2019)
HeadquartersBangalore, Karnataka, India
Country of originIndia
Area servedWorldwide
OwnerKoo Corporation Pvt Ltd
Founder(s)
[1]
Key peopleAprameya Radhakrishna
(CEO)
Industry
Employees200 (As of Sep 2021)[2]
URLkooapp.com
CommercialYes
RegistrationOptional
UsersIncrease 60 million (November 2022)
Launched2020
Current statusActive
Native client(s) oniOS, Android, Web

As of November 2022, the company is valued at over $275 million.[7] Investors in Bombinate Technologies include Tiger Global, Blume Ventures, Kalaari Capital and Accel Partners India, and former Infosys CFO TV Mohandas Pai's 3one4 Capital.[8]

History edit

Initial growth edit

According to statistics provided by analytics provider Sensor Tower, Koo saw 2.6 million installs from Indian app stores in 2020, compared to 2.8 crore (28 million) installs observed for Twitter. From February 6 to February 11, the installations of Koo increased rapidly. The app increased in popularity after a weeklong standoff between Twitter and the Government of India over Twitter's refusal to block accounts during the 2020–2021 Indian farmers' protest.[9][10] The government demanded that Twitter block the accounts of hundreds of activists, journalists, and politicians, accusing them of spreading misinformation.[10] Twitter complied with a majority of the orders, but refused some, citing freedom of expression.[9] Following this standoff, many Cabinet Ministers such as Piyush Goyal and various government officials moved to Koo and urged supporters to follow. This led to a surge in Koo's user base.[9] In April 2021, Ravi Shankar Prasad became the first minister with 2.5 million followers on Koo.[11]

Koo in Nigeria edit

Koo was the go-to alternative to Twitter in Nigeria after the country indefinitely banned Twitter for deleting a tweet by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.[12] The tweet had threatened a crackdown on regional separatists "in the language they understand". Twitter claimed the post was in violation of Twitter rules, but gave no further details. Twitter was officially banned in Nigeria on June 5, 2021. The Government of Nigeria created their official Koo account five days later on June 10.[13] In 2022, it was reported that Nigerian government officials had stopped using Koo after the ban on Twitter was lifted.[14]

Koo in Brazil edit

After crises involving the acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk, Koo became an attractive social network for Brazilian users.[15] According to one of the founders, Aprameya Radhakrishna, until the 16th of November, only two thousand Brazilian users used Koo, which placed Brazil in position 75 on the list of countries with the most lifetime unique users. On the 18th alone, more than a million Brazilians registered on the social network, which placed Brazil in second place on the list.[16] The app featured at number 1 in the Google's Play Store and Apple's App Store in Brazil. Soon Portuguese support was added in the App.[17] Koo received so many submissions and comments that the site became unstable. Personalities such as Felipe Neto, Casimiro, Bruno Gagliasso and Pocah created their accounts on the social network. The name "Koo", which has the same pronunciation as "cu", a vulgar term for the anus in Portuguese language, drew attention of users.[18] Koo held a poll on Twitter asking Brazilians if the name of the social network should be changed, which was rejected. Koo reached the Top 3 of Twitter's trending topics in Brazil.[19]

Funding edit

As of May 2021, Koo investors include Accel Partners, Kalaari Capital,[20] Blume Ventures, Dream Incubator, 3one4 Capital, Blume Ventures, IIFL, and Mirae Asset. On 26 May 2021, Koo raised $30 million (about ₹218 crore) in Series B funding, led by Tiger Global.[21][22][23] After raising $30 million from Tiger Global, Koo's valuation increased, reaching over $100 million, up from about $25 million in February.[24] Shunwei Capital sold its whole stake in Koo by March 2021.[25] On 25 November 2022, Koo further raised $6 million in a funding round led Accel Partners and Tiger Global.[26][27]

Interface and features edit

edit

Koo's logo is a yellow bird. The design of the bird was streamlined on 14 May 2021.[28]

User experience edit

Koo's interface is similar to that of Twitter, allowing users to categorize their posts with hashtags and tag other users in mentions or replies. Koo uses a yellow and white interface.[29][30]

On 4 May 2021, Koo introduced a new feature called "Talk to Type" which allows its users to create a post with the app's voice assistant.[31]

Koo marks verified accounts with a yellow-coloured tick.[32][33]

On 14 March 2023, the company integrated ChatGPT in Koo so that users can use it to create content and posts.[34][35]

Languages edit

Koo was first launched in Kannada[36] and supports Hindi, English, Portuguese, Tamil, Telugu, Assamese,[37] Marathi, Bangla, Gujarati, Punjabi, Hausa, Spanish, Italian, German, French, Thai, Vietnamese, Turkish, Korean.[38][39]

Security incidents edit

In February 2021, a cybersecurity expert showed a data breach on the app, but the company rejected the claim.[40]

On November 19, 2022, an update caused a vulnerability allowing profiles to be hacked. KooForBrasil's Twitter profile admitted the failure and apologized saying that there had never been an invasion before.[41]

Reception edit

  • 2020 - Koo got Rank 2 in the Government of India's 'Atmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge' in the Social category.[42]
  • 2021 - Koo was ranked among the Top 3 social media products in APAC (Asia-pacific) region as per the Amplitude report.[43]
  • 2022 - Koo CEO Aprameya Radhakrishnan was recognized as the Top 100 global tech changemakers [44]

See also edit

References edit

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  2. ^ "Koo to raise headcount to 500 in next 1 year". Business Line. PTI. 12 September 2021. Archived from the original on 27 September 2021. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  3. ^ "Will double headcount; lot of headroom for growing user base: Koo". The Hindu. PTI. 9 May 2021. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on 9 May 2021. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
  4. ^ "Indian entrepreneurs back Koo app as Chinese investor exits". The Economic Times. 12 February 2021. Archived from the original on 12 February 2021. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  5. ^ Pratap, Ketan (10 February 2021). "Desi microblogging platform Koo will have to cover a lot of ground to be Twitter alternative". Archived from the original on 10 February 2021. Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  6. ^ "Chingari, YourQuote and Koo are the winners of the Aatmanirbhar App Innovation Challenge". Indulge Express. IANS. 31 August 2020. Archived from the original on 22 April 2021. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  7. ^ Ashrafi, Md Salman (23 November 2022). "Exclusive: Koo raises over $6 Mn led by Tiger Global". Entrackr. Archived from the original on 25 November 2022. Retrieved 25 November 2022.
  8. ^ "Twitter under fire, Koo announces $30 million fundraise: why it's significant". The Indian Express. 26 May 2021. Archived from the original on 24 November 2022. Retrieved 17 March 2023.
  9. ^ a b c Rai, Saritha (17 February 2021). "Twitter's clash with India government gives boost to local rival". Japan Times. Archived from the original on 17 February 2021. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  10. ^ a b Perrigo, Billy (11 November 2022). "Elon Musk Has Inherited Twitter's India Problem". Time. Retrieved 14 November 2022.
  11. ^ "Ravi Shankar Prasad becomes first minister with 10 lakh followers on domestic Twitter "Koo"". Gadgets Techly360. 9 April 2021. Archived from the original on 9 April 2021. Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  12. ^ Mukul, Pranav (14 June 2021). "Explained: Nigerian govt joins Koo; what this means for Twitter's India-made rival". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 24 June 2021. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  13. ^ Alawadhi, Neha (10 June 2021). "Koo expands its wings, govt of Nigeria joins microblogging platform". Business Standard. Archived from the original on 19 June 2021. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
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  15. ^ Barros, Matheus (18 November 2022). "As pessoas estão trocando o Twitter pelo Koo; entenda". Olhar Digital (in Brazilian Portuguese). Archived from the original on 19 November 2022. Retrieved 21 November 2022.
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  19. ^ Oliveira, Tainane (18 November 2022). "Conheça o Koo! Rede social indiana viraliza entre os famosos". POPline (in Brazilian Portuguese). Archived from the original on 21 November 2022. Retrieved 21 November 2022.
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  21. ^ "Koo raises $30mn funding led by Tiger Global". The Hindu. PTI. 26 May 2021. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on 27 May 2021. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
  22. ^ "Twitter under fire, Koo announces $30 million fundraise: why it's significant". The Indian Express. 26 May 2021. Archived from the original on 27 May 2021. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
  23. ^ "Koo raises $30 million funding led by Tiger Global". India Today. 27 May 2021. Archived from the original on 27 May 2021. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
  24. ^ Singh, Manish (26 May 2021). "Tiger Global leads $30 million investment in Indian Twitter rival Koo". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2 June 2021.[permanent dead link]
  25. ^ Mishra, Digbijay (18 March 2021). "Koo's Chinese investor sells entire stake". Times of India. Archived from the original on 14 April 2021. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
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  27. ^ Ashrafi, Md Salman (23 November 2022). "Exclusive: Koo raises over $6 Mn led by Tiger Global". Entrackr. Archived from the original on 25 November 2022. Retrieved 22 December 2022.
  28. ^ Ajmal, Anam (13 May 2021). "Koo App: Homegrown social media app Koo launches new logo". The Times of India. TNN. Archived from the original on 16 May 2021. Retrieved 16 May 2021.
  29. ^ Singh, Saurabh (7 August 2020). "Made in India Twitter alternative Koo wins government's app innovation challenge in social category". Financial Express. The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 9 June 2021. Retrieved 9 June 2021.
  30. ^ "Twitter's clash with government gives boost to Koo app". Hindustan Times. Bloomberg. 17 February 2021. Archived from the original on 9 June 2021. Retrieved 9 June 2021.
  31. ^ "Koo Launches New 'Talk To Type' Feature For Indian Languages". Moneycontrol. 4 May 2021. Archived from the original on 16 May 2021. Retrieved 16 May 2021.
  32. ^ Talakokkula, Karthik (11 February 2021). "How to get Verified Account on Koo (Verified Account)". Android Nature. Archived from the original on 25 June 2021. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  33. ^ "Like blue tick, Now Koo App will give Yellow Tick to verified users!". Gadgets Techly360. 28 July 2021. Archived from the original on 28 July 2021. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  34. ^ "Are you present on Koo? Now, use ChatGPT to create posts". Hindustan Times. 14 March 2023. Archived from the original on 19 March 2023. Retrieved 19 March 2023.
  35. ^ "ChatGPT makes debut with Twitter-rival Koo to write posts for you". Business Today. 13 March 2023. Archived from the original on 19 March 2023. Retrieved 19 March 2023.
  36. ^ "Koo is now the largestmicro blog in Kannada". The Hindu. 24 September 2020. Archived from the original on 9 May 2021. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  37. ^ Rawat, Aman, ed. (16 June 2021). "Nomoskaar Assam! Koo launches app in Assamese as Twitter comes under fire". Zee News. Archived from the original on 16 June 2021. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  38. ^ "Official website". Archived from the original on 12 February 2021. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  39. ^ "Indian Twitter alternative Koo app launched in Brazil, garners 1 million downloads already". India Today. Archived from the original on 22 November 2022. Retrieved 22 November 2022.
  40. ^ KVN, Rohit (11 February 2021). "French cyber expert shows data leak on Koo app, company denies any breach". Deccan Herald. Archived from the original on 15 February 2021. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  41. ^ Brasil, Koo (19 November 2022). "Brazilian digital influencer koo hacked in update". Twitter (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 19 November 2022.
  42. ^ "MyGov Announces Winners of 'AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge'; Encourages the Spirit of Self-Reliance & Innovation". Press Information Bureau, Ministry of Electronics and IT. 7 August 2020. Archived from the original on 19 November 2021. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  43. ^ "Koo among top 3 hottest social media products in APAC". BusinessToday.in. 17 November 2021. Archived from the original on 19 November 2021. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  44. ^ "Koo's co-founder and CEO Aprameya Radhakrishna recognized among top 100 global tech changemakers". Archived from the original on 13 May 2022. Retrieved 13 May 2022.

External links edit