Will double headcount; lot of headroom for growing user base: Koo

Topics Social Media | Twitter

Homegrown microblogging platform Koo is planning to double its headcount in the next one year as it significantly scales up its user base on the platform, especially vernacular subscribers, its co-founder said.

Speaking to PTI, Koo co-founder Aprameya Radhakrishna said the platform with its current user base of 6 million has a lot of headroom for growth.

"When folks join Koo, they bring their followers as well, we don't have too many Bollywood folks yet, we don't have too many cricketers yet. There are lots of politicians, writers...who will find their unique reasons to be on Koo because we are enabling local languages," he said.

Radhakrishna said Koo is growing exponentially as people are looking for ways to converse online in local languages with community members, and that the platform is helping people express themselves in their local language.

"We want to hit 100 million downloads in the next year or so. It is plausible, a 20X growth is very much possible, it depends on what all events lead to it. There are a lot of people who are yet to join Koo," he said.

Koo, which was launched last year, has seen a massive surge 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.

Koo has about 60 lakh users on its platform. Twitter, on the other hand, has 1.75 crore users in India.

India remains a critical market for Internet companies like Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter with its large population base and burgeoning Internet adoption. The country is the world's second-largest telecom market and the biggest consumer of data.

To keep pace with rapid growth in both users and usage, Koo is looking to at least double its headcount from about 75 professionals currently over the next 12 months, he added.

"We are aggressively hiring, especially for the engineering team because every idea, everything we want to do on product, boils down to engineering efforts. We want the best of engineers in India to work with us," Radhakrishna added.

He said the company is recruiting talent across different capabilities including Android, iOS, machine learning, and quality assurance and testing among others.

The Twitter rival is also undertaking a slew of initiatives amid the deadly second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, to make it easier for people to find leads for hospital beds, oxygen cylinders and other resources.

It will soon allow potential plasma donors to sport "badges" on their profile pictures for increased visibility, and a new feature is also in the offing that would notify users about vaccine availability.

Asked how Koo is cracking down on misinformation around COVID-19, Radhakrishna said the platform has a robust reporting system in place to deal with such content.

He added that users can flag content that they think is incorrect or inappropriate, and Koo deploys automated tools as well as manual intervention to handle such content.

"Our job is to make sure that people talking about COVID and those looking for information around COVID can find each other. It is not our job to push down content to anyone, but giving options...helpful around the COVID period...Our goal is to get people who use Koo to access the right information," he said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel