Desi Challenge for Twitter – Hindu BusinessLine


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It’s been a little over a year since the launch of Koo, a social network that made quite a fuss when ministers and celebrities started supporting it. A few months ago, $ 4.1 million was raised. “We are one of the few companies that creates a network of real people. It’s not so much about content, it’s about connecting people, ”says Mayank Bidawatka, co-founder of Koo. Chat excerpts:

They compared you a lot to Twitter. Yet you describe yourself as a platform that connects people. Isn’t that more of a Facebook USP?

People connect for a variety of reasons. Maybe they connect with you on Facebook because you’re already a friend. When you connect with people on something like Koo, you connect the basis of their thoughts. We are different from pure content platforms that start displaying content whether or not you follow people. Because it’s about content. We are a person who creates content. Only when you follow will you get the content.

What is the reason that Koo captured the imagination of so many celebrities and gained importance? Is it because of Atmanirbhar’s feelings?

The most basic thing was related to the problem we were solving. If this problem was not relevant, we would not have a challenge for the application and we would come to the fore. We are being talked about because India has a unique problem. Ninety percent of our country does not like English. Second, we have a huge linguistic diversity. If you look at global products, linguistic diversity is more of an afterthought for them. For us, linguistic diversity is the only thought. We developed the product keeping in mind the sensitivity and nuances of the Indian subcontinent.

Has any brand already adopted Koo? Do brands talk about Koo strategy?

There are several early adopters. For example, there is Amul, who is present and even created an ad for Koo. There are brands that are early users, while others will wait for the platform to become large. There are many government agencies that serve the masses.

Do you make tools that brands will use?

Not yet. But yes, in the end we will. So far it has not been a priority. The first priority was our users, then the creators and the VIP community, the most prominent faces of the country. When we have a great platform that allows all these people to connect with each other, it will become natural for brands to embark on it. We will come to that when we have deeper experiences.

What is the current number of users?

We exceeded 5.5 million downloads.

What about the average time users spend on the platform?

We do not share this information publicly.

Where do downloads mostly come from? Which language communities?

Hindi is the largest language in terms of the percentage of people who speak it. Then Kannada, and English. We have just launched Bengali as an easy start, especially given the political action there. Marathi is a rising language.

If you do a content analysis, what are the conversations like?

People discuss many local issues and local topics. Each language has different types of topics to discuss. In Canadian, there is a lot of talk about culture. In English it is more political. People also discuss daily topics. There is a lot of talking about sports and entertainment. In Hindi there is poetry and again culture. So it’s pretty diverse.

Audio spaces are a new trendy thing. Will you be working on audio rooms as well?

We are a company that thinks of useful cases, not trends and fashions. We look at users and say what tools are needed for them and can be made for them. You need to map user interest using the tool, not the other way around.

Give a few examples of how to create a user tool.

A simple example is that people don’t want to create content by typing on a keyboard. Not everyone may be used to typing. So they may want to record their voice. We have audio creations and video creations. Facebook and Twitter do not have this feature. So this is an example of an Indian shade.

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