Koo 'keen' on expanding in Nigerian market following suspension of Twitter
NEW DELHI: Indian social networking company Koo announced on Saturday that it will scale operations in Nigeria, a day after the country “indefinitely” suspended Twitter.
“@kooindia is available in Nigeria. We're thinking of enabling the local languages there too. What say?" Koo co-founder Aprameya Radhakrishna wrote on Twitter.
He added that the platform is keen on making inroads in the Nigerian market and that Koo will abide by the local laws of each country that it operates in.
“Nigeria is similar to India in terms of language diversity. It has hundreds of regional languages. Koo has a global outlook and will definitely enable micro-blogging in countries that need it the most. We have built a scalable platform and while we are still enhancing the product, it’s already available for use in multiple countries today,” co-founder Mayank Bidawatka told TOI.
Nigeria federal ministry of Information and Culture had announced that it was indefinitely suspending the operations of the microblogging platform in the country. In a statement shared on Twitter, the ministry said it has "suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service".
The indefinite suspension came two days after Twitter deleted an “offensive” tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari for violating its rules.
Twitter’s standoff with the Nigerian government began in October 2020, after CEO Jack Dorsey had supported anti-government protests #EndSars, a series of peaceful protests against the country’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The squad had been accused of brutality against citizens. “Donate via #Bitcoin to help #EndSARS,” Dorsey had tweeted on October 15 last year.
Koo, founded by Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidawatka, 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 has over 60 lakh users, and had recently raised $30 million (about Rs 218 crore) in a funding round led by Tiger Global.
Koo's popularity in India peaked amid clarion calls for expanding the ecosystem of homegrown digital platforms. The platform has seen a massive growth in its user base over the past few months after union ministers and government departments endorsed the homegrown microblogging platform, following a spat with Twitter.
Notably, Radhakrishna's post on Saturday coincides with the Indian government issuing a notice to Twitter, giving it one last chance to "immediately" comply with the new IT rules. Twitter has also been warned that failure to adhere to the norms will lead to the platform losing exemption from liability under the IT Act.
Koo had earlier said it has already complied with the IT rules and has shared necessary details as sought by the government on the issue.