Koo’s user base has touched 1 crore mark, and the homegrown microblogging platform is eyeing a massive headroom for growth as it aims to reach 10 crore users over the next one year, its co-founder said. Koo co-founder Aprameya Radhakrishna believes that despite the significant surge in its user base, the platform “has not even scratched the surface” when it comes to the growth potential offered by the market, where less than two per cent of internet users actually use microblogging platforms to express themselves.
“Microblogging in India is restricted to less than two per cent, if you look at only English. The fact that microblogging will enable their voice to be heard by anyone in the country, is something that 98 per cent of the internet-using population is not even aware of. That is the market Koo is looking at,” Radhakrishna told PTI. Twitter-rival Koo has crossed the milestone of 1 crore users within 15-16 months of its launch. Of this, nearly 85 lakh downloads have come since February this year.
“About 700 million (70 crore) people are using the internet today and all of them have a thought or opinion (on various issues). Making them aware of the fact that Koo exists and they can actually come and say what is on their mind on Koo, is what our headroom for growth is. Today we are not even scratching the surface, we can grow much more” he said. Founded by Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidawatka, Koo was launched last year to allow users to express themselves and engage on the platform in Indian languages. It supports multiple languages including Hindi, Telugu and Bengali, among others.
Koo’s popularity in India peaked amid the Indian government’s spat with Twitter and growing calls for expanding the ecosystem of homegrown digital platforms. Koo saw a massive growth in its user base over the past few months, after union ministers and government departments in India endorsed the homegrown microblogging platform. Radhakrishna said he does not anticipate any let up in demand, nor expect the enthusiasm for homegrown microblogging solution to wane-off.
The platform is firmly focused on “enabling” freedom of speech for those who do not have it on the internet today, he said and added that adhering to local laws and rules is integral to its business model. “Our headroom for growth is tremendous, and we hope to hit 100 million downloads in the next one year from 10 million now, and after that to take it to 500 million in the next few years,” he said. India remains a critical market for Internet companies like Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter with its large population base and burgeoning internet adoption.
The country — which is the world’s second-largest telecom market and the biggest consumer of data — enforced new IT intermediary rules earlier this year, aiming to bring greater accountability for big tech companies, including Twitter and Facebook.