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Koo: What you should know about Twitter’s rival app

By Lami Sadiq

Barely a week after Nigeria’s Government placed an indefinite suspension on the operation of microblogging site, Twitter, the federal government made its debut on an Indian-based social media platform, Koo, which was barely known to many in Nigeria. 

With the announcement of the government’s arrival on the made-in-Indian app by its co-founder and CEO Aprameya Radhakrishna, the yellow bird app is gaining traction among some Nigerians as they seek another source of keeping abreast with information hitherto filled by Twitter. 

Announcing the Nigerian government’s arrival, Radhakrishna with the Koo handle (@aprameya) posted an official handle of the Nigerian government with a smiling emoji sign. “The official handle of the government of Nigeria is now on Koo,” he posted.

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Screengrab of Koo co-founder, Aprameya Radhakrishna (@aprameya) announcing the Nigerian government’s arrival on the platform

What is Koo App? 

Koo is a micro-blogging platform which was developed by Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidawatka in March 2020 but was floated in May of the same year. The app won the Aatmanirbhar App Challenge organized by the Indian government in August 2020. It has a similar interface with Twitter and its rise is hinged on the stormy path Twitter took with government authorities in India and most recently in Nigeria.

Like Twitter, Koo can be used to profess views and opinions on various topics as well as allow users to follow other users, conduct polls, share photos, audio and video with a Direct Message (DM) to facilitate chat with each other. It also allows users to place their posts with hashtags and the @ sign also comes before a username, to mention or reply to other users. Koo uses a yellow and white interface and like the blue-bird app, a verified account is given a yellow tick to indicate its authenticity.

A check on Google Play Store shows it has been downloaded over 5 million times. Apart from English, the application features some local languages spoken in India such as, Bengali, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu. However, the co-founder and CEO, Aprameya wrote on the microblogging app that: “Koo is available in Nieria. We’re thinking of enabling the local languages there too. What say?

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Tip Of The Week

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There’s precious little that we can do about the barrage of misinformation that we see daily, but there’s a lot we can do together if we learn to identify suspicious claims in the news and refrain from fuelling the fire by spreading them! Here are our top picks of likely-to-be-false news which [sadly] couldn’t be fact-checked.

CLAIM: A viral WhatsApp message claims that the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) has advised users of public transports to beware of drivers mentioning Lace and Ankara during a phone call. The viral message purports that kidnappers have adopted the words ‘Lace and Ankara’ and translated them to mean ‘Male and Female’ respectively, hence, when a driver mentions any of these words, passengers should ‘quietly alight immediately.’ It further advises readers to pass the information on to others. 

SOURCE: WhatsApp Message

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Questions to ask yourself: Who is the source? Which credible news platform has published this? Did LASTMA actually initiate the message?

What you should do: Verify before sharing. 

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