‘Koo’ more in your language


Hyderabad: India has close to 450 million Internet users of which, 50 per cent are vernacular language users. In the next two years, it is expected that 3 out of 4 users will be native language users. And yet social media – be it Facebook or Twitter – is dominated by English. To break this mould and cater to the vernacular language base, there is now a new platform, Koo.

The microblogging app is focused on non-English speaking audiences and is available in Hindi and Kannada. The founders are planning to venture into Telugu and Tamil in two-three months. The platform enables users to express their opinions in their native language through text, images and video.

“There has been a growing interest in the vernacular user space and we have been working in this space with multiple products. While on Twitter there are 200-300 million tweets per day, the Telugu language tweets are at about 500 or even less. This is because Twitter does not provide the compatibility for native language users where they can type Telugu words in English and they automatically translate to Telugu dialect. But with Koo, it is a lot easier for people to get an immersive mother tongue experience,” says Mayank Bidawatka, co-founder of Koo.

Bidawatka, along with his partner Aprameya Radhakrishna – the founder of TaxiForSure, set up Vokal, a P2P info-sharing startup for rural India.

Extending this vernacular content platform, the duo launched Koo about four months ago and it already has seen 4 lakh downloads.

“Our competition is not with Twitter as they are the ones who have innovated microblogging. However, we are looking at providing microblogging in the Indian context and want to take it to all Indians in their mother tongue,” says Bidawatka. They plan to offer the app in 11 Indian languages in the next one year.

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