The Indian-based microblogging platform, Koo, was designed for thoughts and opinion sharing via a variety of Indian native languages.
Now spreading its wings beyond India, the platform, which was initially regarded as a rival to Twitter in India, seeks to leverage the opportunity of the Twitter ban in Nigeria, filling the gap left by the social networking platform but now with a unique twist.
Nigeria is the first African country where the app has been launched, starting with six languages, including Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa. There are already close to 200,000 users who have downloaded the app in the country. The platform seeks to become an international social media platform with a variety of languages.
In a virtual session with Aprameya Radhakrishna, co-founder and CEO at Koo, it was made clear that the customisation of the product is in such a way that users can easily find others who speak a similar language as theirs. It would entail communities for the same language, where users can freely interact with one another and express themselves.
In the words of Aprameya: “The essence for Koo in Nigeria is the similarity between Nigeria and India. The goal is to enhance nation-building.” He said. Adding to that, Nigeria has one of the highest internet users. Still on the essence, Sameer Yeshwanth of Koo emphasised that Nigeria, being the giant of Africa, has to be the country to start from in Africa.
The platform seeks to leverage the funds in expanding the team, bringing in engineers that will help develop the product to excellence. It was noted by Aprameya and Sameer that Nigerians studying engineering in India have already been involved in the project.
Just like Twitter, the app gives a yellow tick when a user is verified. According to Aprameya, the tick called ‘Eminence’ recognises and celebrates a user’s eminence, stature, achievements, abilities and professional standing. It is a recognition that the user is a significant representative of the voices of a country’s indigenous.