August 13, 2022
Kuo aims to overtake Twitter’s user base in India within a year

Amid discussions over the proposed acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk, India’s domestic microblogging platform Ku is aiming to overtake it in the country in terms of user base within a year, which has seen rapid growth, a senior company official said. Has been.

Launched in March 2020, the social media platform has seen a “10-fold” increase in user base to 30 million downloads over the past 12 months, and it expects the number to cross 100 million by the end of 2022, Ku Co. Founder and CEO Apramaya Radhakrishna told PTI.

The platform, which is currently available in India in 10 languages ​​including English, operates in Nigeria, and is looking at more multilingual countries such as Indonesia as “priority” countries for overseas expansion, he said. They have already raised $45 million (about Rs 350 crore) and will “revisit funding plans” by the end of 2022, he said, adding that the company is “ready to explore a variety of monetization options” in the next couple of years. Will be of years.

“We have 7-8 million active users every month and are expecting 100 million downloads by the end of 2022. In India, we are bigger than Twitter in terms of non-English user base, and we aim to capture the domestic market. and will become the largest microblogging platform in the country. We will do so in the next 12 months.”

He said Koo now has an “80 percent non-English” user base, with Hindi microbloggers having the largest share, followed by Kannada, Telugu, Marathi and Bengali.

Asked whether Musk’s proposed $44 billion (about Rs 3,41,100 crore) Twitter acquisition has any impact on Ku, Radhakrishna said, “The acquisition is an English world phenomenon. We have not seen any positive or negative impact on it. Haven’t seen.

“The reason we started Kuo is that when it comes to freedom of expression on the Internet, it is limited to people who know English very well. We have worked to enable people to communicate in their own language. started the venture.” He said that it is very important to be open, transparent and fair as a social media platform.

“Our aim is to increase the trust of users and earn their trust. We have opened the site’s algorithms to the public. Elon Musk is proposing to do the same for Twitter. The authenticity of users on the platform is also important, and We allowed people to verify themselves using government identification documents like Aadhaar. This encourages more genuine users to join our site,” said the IIM-Ahmedabad alumnus.

When asked how the microblogging site plans to widen the user base, he said that it has various language communities, and an English user can easily connect with people who are using local languages ​​on the site. .

“We have developed the platform uniquely so that people can post in multiple languages. It is important and important for us to capture the non-English market in India and connect them with English users.” Speaking on issues of fake accounts, abusive posts or hate speech, he said, “Users are free to express whatever they want. and form their own opinion, but they have to obey the law of the land, on the basis of which community guidelines are made. We encourage respectful free speech.” Ku plans to set up an advisory council to deal with sensitive and extreme cases, where some people may regard a particular post as “hate speech”, while others One can find this in the form of “freedom of expression”, said Radhakrishna.

There needs to be a process in place to deal with such extreme situations. He said that the proposed council could have 5-11 members in different sectors.

“We are working on it and hope to have this body in a year’s time,” he said.

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