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    TechnologyStruggles of Maintaining A Homegrown Social Network Lead to Shutdown of Koo

    Struggles of Maintaining A Homegrown Social Network Lead to Shutdown of Koo


    One of 's pioneering social networking platforms that gained traction as a ‘desi Twitter' is now preparing to wind down its operations. Koo, the local language microblogging app had found early success by catering to Indian language speakers who were underserved by global platforms. However, sustaining user interest and moderating toxic content eventually proved challenging for the fledgling startup.

    Founded in 2020, Koo rapidly onboarded users who enjoyed conversing in their native tongues like Hindi, Kannada, Tamil and others. It marketed itself as an inclusive product promoting diversity at a time when most public conversations occurred in English. The app's seamless localization appeals tapped into Indians' sentiments towards indigenous digital services. Within months, it amassed a subscriber base of several million and celebrity endorsement from politicians.

    Nevertheless, Koo struggled to retain high engagement over the long run. Maintaining constant user participation across various Indic languages required substantial resources. Similarly, screening unacceptable or factually incorrect posts generated by its expanding userbase was a gargantuan task. The shortage of capable moderators meant objectionable material sometimes propagated unchecked on the network. These persistent moderation lapses damaged Koo's credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of some segments.

    Now the company's founders have acknowledged that adhering to compliance norms and safety standards demanded a different economic model than their current scale permits. They will spend the upcoming months facilitating a smooth winding down of services and export of user data to other platforms if desired. Several local startups have similarly shut down in the past realizing that attaining sustainable operations requires considerably greater capital and expertise than initially budgeted. This case highlights the immense difficulties of building a socially responsible consumer internet from India.

    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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