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  • As Twitter seeks talks, ministers and celebrities move to Indian-made app Koo – Hindustan Times

 February 10

by Carolina

Union minister Piyush Goyal. (File photo)
Union minister Piyush Goyal. (File photo)

Union minister Piyush Goyal, his colleague Ravi Shankar Prasad, MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, former cricketer Anil Kumble and spiritual guru Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev are among other prominent Koo users

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Sameer

UPDATED ON FEB 10, 2021 09:26 AM IST

Union minister Piyush Goyal has joined Koo amid an increase in the Indian microblogging platform’s users following a standoff between Twitter and the government over the blocking of 257 accounts. Koo was launched in April 2020 as an alternative to Twitter.

“I am now on Koo,” Goyal tweeted on Tuesday. “Connect with me on this Indian micro-blogging platform for real-time, exciting and exclusive updates. Let us exchange our thoughts and ideas on Koo.”

Goyal’s ministerial colleague, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, former cricketer Anil Kumble and spiritual guru Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev are among other prominent Koo users.

Mayank Bidwatka, Koo’s co-founder, said there has been a substantial spike in the number of Koo users since the standoff began. “We are yet to quantify it.” Bidwatka said Koo has over three million users and is active in seven languages.

Also Read | What is Koo? Which ministers have already joined this made-in-India app?

Koo won the second prize in the social category after Chingari in Atmanirbhar app challenge in August. It started in Kannada and has since expanded to include Tamil, Hindi, and Telugu.

Bidwatka said Koo offers an immersive language experience. “If you type in English, it can translate the Koo into Hindi if that is your preferred language.” He added the electronics and information technology ministry, its departments are using the platform, and talks to create accounts for other government ministries and departments were underway.

The standoff began as Twitter declined to block the 257 accounts for referring to “farmer genocide”, citing free speech and newsworthiness. The government on February 4 asked the company to take down additional 1,178 accounts that may “foment trouble”. It has issued a notice to Twitter threatening penal action in case of non-compliance with the government’s orders. Twitter has asked for a meeting with Prasad citing concerns regarding the safety of its employees.

India is Twitter’s third-largest market with 18.9 million users. The American platform is the preferred mode of social media engagement for prominent politicians, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

HT reached out to the electronics and information technology ministry and Twitter for comments but did not receive them immediately.


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Union minister Piyush Goyal. (File photo)
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As Twitter seeks talks, ministers and celebrities move to Indian-made app Koo

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Sameer

UPDATED ON FEB 10, 2021 09:26 AM IST

Union minister Piyush Goyal, his colleague Ravi Shankar Prasad, MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, former cricketer Anil Kumble and spiritual guru Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev are among other prominent Koo users

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