Made Our Algorithm Open Just Before Elon Musk Sought It For Twitter: Koo Co-Founder

| Updated : April 30, 2022, 12:04 pm
Updated : April 30, 2022, 12:04 pm


Koo co-founder Aprameya Radhakrishna

In the middle of frenzy over India’s first Semicon, a three-day mega event in India’s Bengaluru to bring together several semi-conductor companies and help them forge a network to tap into each other’s energy and harness talent in the growing chip industry, The New Indian’s Executive Editor caught up with Koo co-founder Aprameya Radhakrishna. While taking a hilarious riposte at Twitter, Aparemeya said his company has already made its algorithm open a month back while also introducing Koo in 22 languages instantly to address language users across the country. With 300 employees at the moment, Aprameya says he’s happy not seeing revenue for the next two years but building a user base by tying up with people at literary festivals, cricket world cups, elections and spiritual events.

Rohan Dua: Koo has taken a posturing that it doesn’t yet want to be identified with the pro-Left or pro-Right yet? Is it? And how do you look at Elon Musk’s announcement on open sourcing algorithm while saying Twitter censured free speech?

Aprameya Radhakrishna: We have just opened up our algorithm. This was a month ago. That was part of the plan. We didn’t anticipate Twitter would do it with Elon Musk announcing it. How do you see your feed, how do you see hashtags, who do we recommend to follow? At least for us, we want to be an opinion platform without an opinion of our own. Koo shouldn’t become news. If the platform itself becomes the news, it is not right.

Rohan Dua: How different is Koo emerging at the moment from Twitter?

Aprameya Radhakrishna: So our goal is to take Koo to not just the English speaking population but those who don’t speak English. It’s India first problem. So we are making tweets available in 22 languages instantly. We are addressing the problem where the bridge between English-speaking India and language-speaking India is becoming wider. For the first time on Koo, everybody will talk in local languages. You type in English and then you can select the language from the drop down menu which community member you want to send it to. That language can be Kannada, Tamil, Punjabi etc.

Rohan Dua: Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk has also announced that he’s open to the idea of an edit button on Twitter. Your take.

Aprameya Radhakrishna: We already have an edit option. In our case, it’s a simple feature. It’s human to make a mistake while writing. So we allow editing till somebody has seen your Koon. Not after that.

Rohan Dua: How easy or difficult it is for Koo as a company to not see any revenue yet or keep it as an objective?

Aprameya Radhakrishna: The first priority is to grow the user base. To make India realise the importance of using Koo for self-expressions in all languages. We won’t use just advertising. We will also look at making money for creators on our platform. We would want to incentivise users. We will use the next two years to build up our scale. We have 300 employees in India operating from Bengaluru. We are very transparent in our approach. We are not in favour of opening too many physical offices. We may go local within Karnataka, maybe Hasan or Mangalore. We will set up our offices to bring more talent. We want to work with aspirational folks.

Rohan Dua: There is a growing sense in India that Koo is partnering with various organisations to rev up its presence. Is it?

Aprameya Radhakrishna: I think habit building is very important. The habit of expressing oneself through a microblog is not something that exists among language speakers. Wherever there is a need for this, we are partnering with people. Such as poetry events, lit fests, elections, and cricket extravaganzas. We partnered during the Cricket world cup, Jaipur Lit Fest, Delhi lit fest and so on. We will continue to do that.

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