India’s X alternative Koo to shut down services


India’s Koo Shuts Down, Leaving Millions Stranded

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Millions of social media users in India are left without a platform after Koo, a homegrown microblogging service positioned as an alternative to X (formerly Twitter), announced its shutdown. The platform’s founders cited a lack of funding and high technology costs as the reasons for this decision.

Launched in 2020, Koo offered messaging in over 10 Indian languages and gained prominence in 2021 following endorsements from several government ministers amid a dispute between the Indian government and X.

The conflict began when Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government asked X to block a list of accounts, including those of journalists, news organizations, and opposition politicians, claiming they spread fake news. X initially complied but later restored the accounts, citing insufficient justification. This led to threats of legal action against X’s employees in India.

In response, many supporters, cabinet ministers, and officials from Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) migrated to Koo, calling for X to be banned in India. By the end of 2021, Koo had reached 20 million downloads.

Despite its early success, Koo struggled to secure funding in recent years. Founders Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidawatka revealed that Koo was close to surpassing X in India by 2022 but faced a “prolonged funding winter.” They explored partnerships with larger internet companies, conglomerates, and media houses, but none materialized due to concerns over user-generated content and shifting priorities.

In February, reports indicated that Koo was in talks to be acquired by news aggregator Dailyhunt, but the negotiations failed. By April 2023, Koo had laid off 30% of its 260-member workforce due to severe financial losses and a lack of funding.

The founders expressed their regret in shutting down the app, citing the high costs of technology services as a significant factor in their decision.

David Okafor
David Okafor
David Okafor Foreign Affairs Editor, Naija247news Media Group David Okafor is the Foreign Affairs Editor at Naija247news Media Group, with over five years of experience in international journalism. He excels in delivering insightful and impactful coverage of global politics and economic trends. Holding a degree in International Relations, David is known for his investigative skills and editorial leadership. His work ensures Naija247news provides accurate and comprehensive analysis of world events, earning him respect in the media industry.

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