What is Koo? Which ministers have already joined this made-in-India app?
Unlike Twitter, Koo registers users through OTP based on mobile number. The made-in-India app also supports several Indian languages.
Union minister Piyush Goyal, who is quite active on Twitter, announced on Tuesday he has also opened an account on Koo, a made-in-India app which is seen as a prospective competitor to Twitter in the backdrop of the government's "disagreement" with Twitter. Electronics and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has already joined the platform and has a verified handle. Several government departments, including IT (the ministry of Electronics and IT), India Post have verified handles on this platform.
What is Koo?
Koo is an app like Twitter which was launched 10 months ago. It had won the Aatmanirbhar App challenge. The app was developed by Aparameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidawatka. The app is available in several languages, including Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Malayalam, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Odiya and Assamese.
Focus is on Aatmanirbhar Bharat
On its download page in Goggle Playstore, Koo has been described as an app "built for Indians to share their views in their mother tongue and have meaningful discussions". Its tagline is "connect with Indians in Indian languages". It is a personal update and opinion sharing micro-blogging platform. "Discussions are around interesting topics. It empowers people to express their thoughts in Indian languages with a strong-knit local Indian community," it said.
What can be done on Koo?
Everything that can be done on Twitter. You can share your opinions, updates. Celebrities can be followed on this platform as well. You can view your feed in Indian languages. This app will also show what is trending.
Who are Koo's investors?
Before Koo stirred a storm on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon after Piyush Goyal's tweet, Koo this month achieved a major landmark as it raised about ₹30 crore from a clutch of investors, including an entity backed by former Infosys CEO Mohandas Pai. Accel Partners, Kalaari Capital, Blume Ventures and Dream Incubator are its existing investors.
How to download
The app can be downloaded from Google play store and iOS app store. It can be accessed from the web app too. All the users need is a valid phone number on which Koo sends an OTP for first-time registration.
Why is the timing significant?
The Centre on January 31 asked Twitter to block 257 URLs and one hashtag as they were spreading misinformation about farmers' protest. Twitter blocked them a day after and then unblocked them a few hours later. The Centre then issued another order asking for compliance failing which penal action will be taken, the Centre said.