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Not Piyush Goyal or IT ministry — Republic TV is first handle on Koo app’s must-follow list

Ministers and government departments have joined Koo, giving it mileage in popular media. Republic TV had called for editorial partnership with Koo last year.

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New Delhi: Union Minister Piyush Goyal and several government departments have made a beeline over the last couple of days to the new microblogging app on the block, Koo, giving the ‘Indian alternative to Twitter’ mileage in popular media.

But the top account the Indian app is recommending on the site is journalist Arnab Goswami’s news media network, Republic TV, which had called for an editorial partnership with Koo last year.

On its home page, the app suggests users to follow on the site. In this list, Republic TV is at the top. Government-run India Post is at number four, Sonal Goel, described as an IAS officer, is five and the Ministry of Information and Technology is six.

Goyal’s account is not in the top eight suggested accounts.

On Wednesday, the app made headlines when the IT Ministry took to Koo to respond to Twitter’s blogpost on blocking some accounts on the orders of the Indian government.

Apart from Goyal, the app currently boasts the membership of Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar and JD(S) leaders H.D. Deve Gowda and his son H.D. Kumaraswamy.

The app from Bengaluru, which raised $4.1 million this month, is available in several Indian languages including Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, and Marathi. It has 3 million downloads and 1 million active users.

The Republic ‘partnership’

Republic TV was among the first media organisations to profile Koo after it won the AatmaNirbhar App Innovation Challenge organised by the Modi government last year to push the idea of self-reliance and home-grown tech solutions.

At the time, Arnab Goswami had interviewed Koo co-founders Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidawatka, according to a July 2020 post by Bidawatka published on Medium.

During the interview, Goswami had said, “I am very, very, very, very… proud today to announce and to declare that your network, the Republic media network is going to be partnering editorially with Koo.”

Also read: Twitter blocks only some handles after Modi govt order, rejects others citing free speech


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