Indian origin micro-blogging platform KOO replaces banned Twitter in Nigeria



On 5th June 2021, Nigeria entered the club of countries that have banned access to Twitter. The action took place after Twitter removed Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari's recent tweet and held his account for more than 12 hours. Shortly after the ban was announced, twitter’s rival app KOO announced its launch in the West- African country. KOO APP was launched in India, its home market, on 1st March 2020.


WHY DID THE BAN OCCUR?

A series of events led to this indefinite ban. It started with a spate of arson attacks on electoral offices and police stations that were reported in the earlier part of June 2021. Following this, Nigerian president Buhari made a tweet to warn the people responsible for it.


WHAT WAS THE AFTERMATH?

According to Twitter the tweet made by the Nigerian president was in"violation of Twitter rules" and hence it was taken down. The announcement to ban the micro-blogging platform came two days later. Nigeria's social-media users have expressed their anguish towards the government, calling the decision futile.


The government supported its decision to suspend the platform by saying that their actions were a result of how people were using the site for certain activities that could undermine Nigeria’s corporate existence.


Meanwhile, Twitter commented that the behavior of the country regarding the app's suspension was of “deep concern”. The matter is still under investigation and, likely, the ban is not going to be lifted anytime soon.


WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR KOO?

The Indian app Koo is currently available in English and Indian languages. It includes a variety of regional languages – Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, and Marathi. The Company’s CEO and co-founder Mr. Aprameya Radhakrishnan announced the official launch of the app in Nigeria after the ban of the US micro-blogging site. They also aim to introduce local Nigerian languages to attract more users. The app aims to have a global influence and plans to enable micro-blogging in countries that need it the most. The vast population of Nigeria might prove to be highly beneficial for the app makers. It currently has more than 50lac downloads in India and has been endorsed by many government agencies and ministers. Launched just last year, the platform has over 6 million users in India already.


Even in India, the app's progress came due to the Indian government's several disagreements with Twitter. The confrontation between the two is a result of twitter's noncompliance to remove several tweets and accounts that the Indian government had requested. Also, Twitter is yet to comply with India's new IT rules for digital intermediaries.


As of May 2021, the Indian micro-blogging platform has raised $30 million, in an investment led by tiger global. It currently stands at a valuation of over $100 million.

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