National

Can Koo replace Twitter and be govt’s handle for sharing Breaking News?

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on February 22, 2021

No, say market analysts

Over the last few weeks, there has been a lot of buzz around micro blogging platform ‘Koo’ wherein government departments have been sharing press statements or links. But can Koo become the government’s handle for sharing ‘Breaking News’ instead of Twitter?

Analysts and social media market watchers said they don’t think so and many corporate and government leaders will remain on Twitter too. But, that fact is that Koo will grow faster in the coming days.

“All the top people in the government seem to be on Twitter, so I am sure Koo will grow way faster. But whether it would replicate Twitter, I have my doubts at this point,” Shubho Sengupta, digital marketing consultant, said.

Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Prakash Javadekar, Smriti Irani and Kiren Rijiju are already in this new platform and have been sharing their press statements through it. Prasad recently in a Cabinet press briefing said his Koo handle has crossed five-lakh followers.

The Ministries have started sharing links of press releases and information through Koo in WhatsApp groups also. However, analysts said Twitter will remain the main channel for many users as it is a global platform and millions of users prefer it.

Even these Ministers are sharing the same press statements on Twitter, though giving preference to Koo.

‘Long way to go’

“Sharing of news and press releases are happening on Koo, but that does not mean it will replace Twitter...Twitter is global and it has a massive number of users globally and in India too.,” Sengupta said.

Agreed Sanjay Sarma, Founder at SSARMA Consults, a boutique branding and communication advisory. He said Koo has a long way to go even though the government is promoting it. Whether the local platform makes or replaces global number one or two (Facebook, WhatsApp or Twitter) apps, they are here to stay and they will grow exponentially in the future.

“I don’t think it is becoming a platform to bring the people together. Like when Doordarshan used to be a government-controlled television channel, how many of us were entertained...we used to wait for entertainment programmes in Doordarshan. So, I really have my doubts on the government promoting social media platforms and consumers getting excited by them,” he said.

According to Sarma, the government cannot help in building a social media platform which is government-driven. The government has a lot more important things to do than this...they can help in last mile connectivity rather than promote a certain social media channel or put its weight behind it.

Having said that, Sarma and Sengupta also said the Indian apps — whether it is Koo, Roposo, ShareChat or any other social media platform — will continue to grow.

“I think that is a good thing because the next 500 million on the Internet will be from regional hubs and various languages. So this is the right time to kick-off as technology such as artificial intelligence is emerging in India,” Sengupta added.

Meanwhile, Koo said it has crossed 4.2 million downloads in the recent past and should cross five million in March.

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Published on February 22, 2021
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