For the first-time ever, the Koo App has released insights related to the recently held Legislative Assembly Elections in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur. The data reflects the sentiment of Indians who had the opportunity for the first time ever to create communities and use their mother languages on a micro-blogging platform. With electioneering going digital through virtual rallies and e-campaigning, Koo – which enables online expression in ten native languages – witnessed significant traction in terms of candidates adopting and leveraging the platform to reach out to their voters across regions, and in local languages.
The data reveals that of the 690 newly-elected MLAs from across the five states, about 28.4 percent or 196 candidates were present on the platform during the election season, and actively harnessed Koo’s multi-lingual features to e-connect with voters, share updates and receive feedback – all in a real-time basis. Koo’s inclusive approach, which empowers Indians to express themselves in a language of their choice, in addition to the slew of breakthrough features like a dedicated tab for election updates, Chat Rooms and the Live feature – helped candidates drive their narratives online and engage in public discourse with their voter base.
The data is specifically focussed on the two crucial states of Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, showcasing a breakup of winning candidates from across political parties like the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Samajwadi Party, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Indian National Congress (INC), Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and others who harnessed the platform and its features to enhance voter sentiment ahead of the polls.
The insights throw light on the emergence of multi-lingual micro-blogging, and how Koo – as the largest platform for native language expression – gained momentum during the polling season. In addition to interacting with voters in Hindi and Punjabi, candidates aggressively harnessed the innovative Multi-Lingual Koo (MLK) feature – which enables translation of a message in real-time across the slew of languages on the platform. This feature witnessed a whopping 442 percent increase in usage during the period from January 10 – March 10, 2022, compared to the previous two months, with candidates leveraging MLK to amplify their outreach across regions.
A Koo spokesperson said, “Koo has enabled candidates from across political parties to harness the power of Indian languages, with more than one fourth of the newly-elected MLAs from the five states leveraging our platform to reach out to their voter base. The utilization of the MLK feature further reiterates our belief that multi-lingual India needs a multi-lingual platform on which to express itself. As a transparent, unbiased and neutral app, Koo played a key role in not only enabling conversations and engagement between candidates and voters, but also enhancing awareness and sensitizing voters to make an informed decision. Further, Koo is a reflection of the mood of the people without distortion created by fake accounts and bots. Over 95 percent of Koo users have created their account using a mobile number, thereby limiting the presence of bots on the platform. This data, therefore, heralds the emergence of Koo as the platform-of-choice for Indians to share their thoughts and opinions in their native language.”
During elections, conversations on Koo mirrored the sensibilities of voters, primarily from UP and Punjab. While the UP electorate was largely engaged in discourse around re-electing the present BJP government of Yogi Adityanath; conversations featured prominent leaders like Yogi Adityanath, Akhilesh Yadav, Swami Prasad Maurya, Rahul Gandhi and Aparna Yadav. Meanwhile, among Koo users from Punjab, the anti-incumbency factor reigned high, with users conversing about a change in government. Punjab’s newly-elected Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, former CM Charan Singh Channi, and leaders like Arvind Kejriwal, Rahul Gandhi and Navjot Singh Sidhu were talked about extensively by Koo users from the state.
The Koo App was launched in March 2020 as a multi-lingual, micro-blogging platform to enable Indians to express themselves online in their mother tongue. The Koo App’s smart features are currently available in ten languages – Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Assamese, Bengali and English. In India, where not more than 10 per cent of people converse in English, the Koo App democratizes the voice of Indians by empowering them to share thoughts and express freely in a language of their choice. Among its innovative features, the platform’s translation feature enables the real-time translation of a post across the slew of Indian languages, while retaining the sentiment and context of the original text. This enhances reach and garners greater traction for a user. The Koo App has 20 million downloads and is actively leveraged by people of eminence across politics, sports, media, entertainment, spirituality, and art and culture to connect with their target audience in their native language.