In July 2020, the AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge was launched on the Innovate platform of MyGov by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. The challenge received as many as 6,940 entries from tech entrepreneurs and start-ups across the country. Out of these, “Koo: Follow Top Indians & News in Indian Languages” won in the Social category.
The app might have been launched 10 months ago, it only recently shot into the limelight. Several ministers and celebrities joined the platform, and the app is now being considered the Indian alternative to Twitter. Just like the popular micro-blogging platform, Koo lets users express opinions on various topics, follow others, conduct polls, share files and send DMs. Here’s everything your need to know about the Koo app.
Koo app: what is it?
As mentioned before, the Koo app is an Indian alternative to the popular microblogging platform, Twitter. Everything that can be done on Twitter is available on the Koo app as well. The app which is developed by Aparameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidawatka, was launched 10 months ago as part of the Aatmanirbhar App challenge and won in the Social category.
The app page on the Play Store describes it as an app “built for Indians to share their views in their mother tongue and have meaningful discussions“. The app is available in several Indian languages, including Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Malayalam, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Odiya, and Assamese.
Koo app: how to download on Android and iPhone?
The Koo app is already available for download on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Android and iPhone users can simply head to their respective app stores to download the app.
Koo app: top five features
As mentioned before, Koo app is an Indian alternative to Twitter and lets you do almost everything you can do on Twitter. Below are the top features of the home-grown microblogging platform.
Support for multiple Indian languages
The main USP of the Koo app is support for multiple Indian languages. Users can choose from Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Malayalam, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Odiya, and Assamese. This helps users to express their opinion and thoughts in the language of their choice.
View your feed in your preferred Indian language
After downloading the app, the initial setup asks users for the preferred language. Once you select the language you want, the whole interface and feed are displayed in the chosen language. Notably, this was a big barrier for Twitter as it was restricted to the English-speaking section of the Indian population. With Koo, anyone can voice their opinion and have their voice heard. Thus narrowing the gap between English-speaking and native users.
Share opinion through text, audio, or video
Just like Twitter, users can share their opinion on Koo through various means. The Koo app lets users convey their thoughts in 400 characters of text. Additionally, users can share a 1-minute short audio or video Koos for their followers to see. The Indian microblogging platform also lets users share links and YouTube videos with their followers.
Just like Twitter, Koo has a dedicated section for Trending Hashtags. In this section, Koo users can check what everyone is talking about right now. Additionally, there’s a dedicated section for Trending Koos (Koos athe equivalent of Tweets), which shows the popular Koos from the last 24 hours.
Follow influential people to know what they are talking about
Union minister Piyush Goyal and Electronics and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad have already joined Koo. Other popular public figures using Koo include Shri Sadhguru, Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath, Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka CN Ashwathnarayan,, Karnataka MP Tejasvi Surya, Ashutosh Rana, and Ashish Vidyarthi, among others.
The app has popular IAS officers, actors, actresses, and sports personalities keeping in touch with their followers on Koo. Users can simply follow these influential people to know what topic they are discussing and share their opinions with them too.
Koo app: should you be worried about your privacy?
You asked so I did it. I spent 30 min on this new Koo app. The app is leaking of the personal data of his users: email, dob, name, marital status, gender, … https://t.co/87Et18MrOg pic.twitter.com/qzrXeFBW0L
— Elliot Alderson (@fs0c131y) February 10, 2021
A French security researcher Robert Baptiste (@fs0c131y on Twitter) revealed that he spent 30 minutes on the app to find that it was exposing sensitive information of users like email addresses, names, and gender, among others. According to the hacker, it was fairly easy for him to obtain the above mentioned personal information of the users. Additionally, Baptiste revealed that Koo has a domain registered in the US with the registrant based in China.
Koo is an India registered company with Indian founders. Raised earlier capital 2.5 years ago. Latest funds for Bombinate Technologies is led by a truly Indian investor 3one4 capital. Shunwei (single digit shareholder) which had invested in our Vokal journey will be exiting fully
— Aprameya R (@aprameya) February 10, 2021
Aprameya Radhakrishna, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Koo revealed that Koo has a Chinese investor Shunwei Capital onboard but it’s on its way out. Radhakrishna started that Shunwei Capital had invested in the earlier brand Vokal but as the focus shifts to Koo, its shares are being bought out by other investors. The CEO took to Twitter to announce the same and mentioned that “Koo is an India registered company with Indian founders.”
Koo app FAQs
Which languages does Koo app support?
Koo comes with support for Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Malayalam, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Odiya, and Assamese languages. According to the official website, only 10 percent of India speaks English, and “almost 1 billion people in India don’t know English.” Koo app intends to make the Internet accessible to everyone in their mother tongue.