The Twitter-like social media app, Koo, has remained in limbo in Nigeria one year after its launch. The app, which took the advantage of the federal government’s ban on Twitter last year to launch in Nigeria has failed to attract the interest of Nigerians, unlike other social media apps.
Checks by Nairametrics show that President Muhammdu Buhari and other government officials that opened accounts on the platform in June 2021 after the ban of Twitter have since stopped posting on the platform. For instance, the last post on the verified official handle of the Nigerian Government @nigeriagov, which has 73,500 followers, was on February 3rd 2022. The last post on President Buhari’s Koo handle was on 2nd November 2021.
The Nigerian Senate account on the platform, which is also verified had its last post on Koo on 23, November 2021.
Koo officially launched in Nigeria in August 2021, two months after the Nigerian government banned Twitter. The app projected itself as a replacement for Twitter even as its designs followed after the blue bird app, except for its own yellow colour.
What Koo promised
Founded in India by Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidwatka, the platform at its launch in Nigeria said it wanted to enable Nigerians to express themselves in the digital space.
Co-Founder and CEO at Koo, Aprameya Radhakrishna, had said: “When we launched Koo, our aim was to give users a platform, where opinions can be expressed freely irrespective of the languages one knows. We want users to be able to interact in the language of their choice with some of the most incisive minds on the internet, whilst keeping engagement respectful and harmonious. Users can engage in conversations across multiple topics using some of our varied features, including hashtags, a rich 400-character limit, dedicated buttons to share posts across other social media platforms, among several others.”
Aprameya went on to express Koo’s delight at the opportunity to launch in Nigeria, citing the country’s rich cultural diversity as an impetus for entering the market. According to him, Koo will soon be available in multiple local languages, including Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba and Pidgin English.
“Nigeria is a country with a rich cultural background and heritage. While it is an English-speaking country, we feel it is important for the people to be able to communicate in their local language in the digital space which will further enrich the local culture of Nigeria. Working with Nigerian people, Koo has been 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.
Before its official launch, Nigerian government officials had opened accounts on the platform immediately after the Twitter ban. The accounts have, however, been abandoned as they resumed engagements on Twitter, where many Nigerian youths remained, even when it was banned.
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