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Basyukta Basuprava

Amidst the controversy in which well-known microblogging app Twitter finds itself, India’s very own micro-blogging platform Koo has seen a massive surge in users over the past week. With startling similarities with Twitter, this desi app claims to be the new alternative with features designed keeping the needs of Indians in mind. With a lot of hub hub over the app and almost 5 million downloads, the question is – Is Koo the new Twitter or just a passing trend that will eventually die down like the other ‘Made In India’ apps? We ask the experts.

“Koo will take a maximum of two to three years to mature. Unless the entire government machinery, from the Prime Minister to the ministers, withdraws from Twitter and shifts to Koo, the app can’t be a substantial alternative and will also be a passing fad like the other apps.” said Mumbai-based cyber expert and advocate, Vicky Shah told Odishatv.in.

The app offers a variety of Indian languages to choose from to operate keeping in mind that only a fraction of Indians speak English and wanted to tap into the regional user base. The languages supported at the moment are English, Hindi, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil Marathi, Bengali, Malayalam, Odia, Punjabi, Assamese, and Gujarati.

When it comes to privacy, the app is already facing questions raised around the security of the data collected by the app. The app is being regulated under Section 43A of the IT Act. “Whenever a new app is developed, security is an afterthought but since they have already one million-plus user now they should start working on it,” Mumbai-based cybercrime investigator Ritesh Bhatia said while speaking exclusively to Odishatv.in.

Previously Tooter briefly gained popularity as the ‘Made In India’ version of Twitter but the app wasn’t purely Swadeshi. “The only two emails that are India-based are Rediff and Zoho whereas Tooter supported by G-mail, so how can it be a completely Indian app” added Vicky. After a few days of glory, Tooter did not stick around for long.

There have been a number of indigenous apps developed in the past as well, some failed but some landed on success. “The controversy with Twitter is the reason the government is talking about the app and there has been a surge in the user base. But there are a number of great apps developed in India like Gaana and Ola cabs but no one talks about them or promotes them. Just because of this truffle they are talking about Koo, they should do it for all the good apps developed in the country as well. “concluded Ritesh.

Even as the debate continues only time will say if Indian users would switch loyalty from the ‘Blue Bird’ to the ‘Yellow Bird”, and when of course.

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