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Indian social media site Koo launches in Nigeria after Twitter ban

A Twitter logo is displayed on a smartphone screen. Nigeria has suspended Twitter in the country.

AFP

Abuja. Indian social media and microblogging platform, Koo, has launched in Nigeria just days after the West African country banned Twitter indefinitely following its deletion of a tweet authored by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Koo has seized the advantage created by the current row and is seeking to fill the gap left by the US tech giant in the populous West African country. Following its Saturday launch, the Indian platform said that it is now available in Nigeria and is keen on adding new local languages for users in the country and to enlist the 33 million Twitter subscribers.

According to local media reports in India, Koo’s Co-founder, Aprameya Radhakrishna, officially confirmed that the platform is now available in Nigeria, saying: “We are thinking of enabling the local language there as well. Nigeria is similar to India in terms of language diversity. It has hundreds of regional languages. Koo has a global outlook and will enable micro-blogging in countries that need it the most. We have built a scalable platform, and while we are still enhancing the product, it’s already available for use in multiple countries today.”

Dozens of telecommunications firms in Nigeria have since June 5, 2021 blocked access to Twitter after Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, ordered the immediate prosecution of Nigerians still using the microblogging platform after the ban.

The government on Friday suspended Twitter’s activities, two days after the company deleted a tweet by President Buhari that threatened to punish regional violent secessionists.

Twitter says it is investigating the “deeply concerning” suspension by the Nigerian government and has also deleted inciting tweets of secessionist leader, Mr Nnamdi Kanu, who is currently hiding in UK.

Aggressive growth plan

Koo was launched in 2020 and has managed to secure funding of around $30 million from investors such as Tiger Global. Mr Radhakrishna said that the start-up has “aggressive plans to grow into one of the world’s largest social media platforms”.

The application is available on both the Google Play Store and Apple. Koo’s popularity in India peaked as calls for expansion of the homemade digital platform ecosystem grew.