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Koo-munications with an Indian twist: Meet the desi ‘Twitter’

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Even as a raft of social media platforms have emerged over the years, Twitter stands apart from all of them with its tightly focused communication and concise nature. But despite the global milieu swirling around the Twitter-verse, there was never really an alternative for Indian masses, until recently. 

Koo, built for Indians in order to be able to share their views using Indian languages, won the AatmaNirbhar innovation challenge and is a ‘Made in India’ service as per the vision of PM Narendra Modi. The microblogging site was co-founded by entrepreneurs Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidwatka.   

“We built everything during the lockdown and got engineers on calls and Google Meets. It did have its challenges, and sometimes we feel that if we were in office, we would have built this 5x faster,” said Mayank. Different teams, including the backend, Android, iOS teams, needed to coordinate.  

The app was developed in-house and includes various unique features. It can store content in 8 different Indian languages. When the government expanded this function, it saw a 10-fold increase in downloads in two days, reaching more than 3 million. Seven million people have signed up for the 16-month-old platform.  

The startup now plans to expand in Southeast Asia, Africa, South America, and Eastern Europe, into countries where English is not the dominant language. 

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