A year on, Indian app Koo fails to gain traction in Nigeria as FG abandons the platform

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Twitter-like social media app Koo has remained in limbo in Nigeria a year after its launch. The app, which took advantage of the federal government’s ban on Twitter last year to launch in Nigeria, has failed to garner interest from Nigerians unlike other social media apps.

Nairametrics checks show that President Muhammdu Buhari and other government officials who opened accounts on the platform in June 2021 after Twitter was banned have since stopped posting on the platform. For example, the last post on the official verified Nigerian government handle @nigeriagov, which has 73,500 followers, was February 3, 2022. The last post on President Buhari’s Koo handle was November 2, 2021.

The Nigerian Senate account on the platform, which is also verified, had its last post on Koo on November 23, 2021.

Koo was officially launched in Nigeria in August 2021, two months after the Nigerian government banned Twitter. The app projected itself as a Twitter replacement even though its designs followed the Blue Bird app except for its own yellow color.

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What Koo promised

Founded in India by Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidwatka, the platform when it launched in Nigeria said it wanted to empower Nigerians to express themselves in the digital space.

  • Co-founder and CEO of Koo, Aprameya Radhakrishna, said: “When we launched Koo, our goal was to give users a platform, where opinions can be expressed freely, regardless of the languages ​​we know. We want users to be able to interact in the language of their choice with some of the sharpest minds on the Internet, while maintaining a respectful and harmonious engagement. Users can engage in conversations on multiple topics using some of our varied features, including hashtags, a rich 400 character limit, dedicated buttons to share posts on other social media platforms, among others.
  • Aprameya then expressed Koo’s joy at the opportunity to launch in Nigeria, citing the country’s rich cultural diversity as an impetus to enter the market. According to him, Koo will soon be available in several local languages, including Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba and Pidgin English.
  • Nigeria is a country with a rich cultural and heritage past. Although it is an English-speaking country, we believe it is important for people to be able to communicate in their local language in the digital space, which will further enrich the local culture of Nigeria. By working with Nigerians, Koo was able to appreciate the historical and cultural nuances of the country. We would encourage a positive attitude on the platform, making us partners in progress“, he added.

Prior to its official launch, Nigerian government officials opened accounts on the platform immediately after Twitter was banned. The accounts, however, were abandoned as they resumed their engagements on Twitter, where many young Nigerians remained, even when it was banned.

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