In Nigeria, the Indian app Koo tries to take over from Twitter after the blockade

The Nigerian government has already moved to this application, which is also trying to supplant Twitter in India

(foto: Pavlo Gonchar/Sopa Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

After the indefinite blocking of Twitter in Nigeria, theKoo Indian microblogging app it is proposing itself as a substitute for the much more famous American platform, even with some push from above.

On June 2, Twitter deleted a tweet from the Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, who appeared to threaten violence against his political opponents, especially secessionist groups. Two days later, the government suspended Twitter which in Nigeria has 40 million users and was widely used by journalists and officials as well as by companies. The decision led some local telecommunications companies to block access to the platform.

According to the tech news site, Rest of the world, after this block Koo moved quickly. Within days, the app was available on the Apple and Google app stores in Nigeria, and job postings for people who spoke the local language had been posted on LinkedIn. President Buhari opened an account on Koo less than a week after the Twitter shutdown, and so did other members of the government.

Koo was launched in March 2020 by Indian entrepreneur Aprameya Radhakrishna, quickly attracting 25 million users in the country. The app in the first phase allowed to receive a voice response to questions posed on the platform, then transforming itself into a version more similar to Twitter, in which people can also express themselves, as well as search for answers.

Koo initially focused on local-speaking users, rather than English speakers, by focusing on an istrongly Indian identity. Subsequently, Koo added the English-language feature, likely to replace Twitter since it ran into trouble with New Delhi authorities trying to crack down on dissent even with stricter social media rules.

The Indian application has in effect positioned itself as a ‘welcome alternative by the government compared to Twitter, but the fact of preferring the local language and zealously respecting the rules set by the authorities has made it the preferred platform of the right and Hindu nationalists.

That in Nigeria is Koo’s first international expansion, but despite the noise generated, there are still no numbers to support the fact that it has already found a sizeable user base, even among pro-government ones. In Nigeria, the possible catchment area for the app is immense but yours limited global reach makes it difficult to think that Koo will become the alternative to Twitter for the communication of the same government.

While the Nigerian executive has started using Koo in fact, it has also started use more actively Facebook and Instagram and the popular local platforms Nairaland and Opera News, after the Twitter ban, still writes Rest of the world.

Categories:   Internet