The rise of microblogs | The Financial Express

The rise of microblogs

After Elon Musk bought Twitter, the platform has seen a surge in users and so have other micro-blogging platforms

The rise of microblogs
With the Brazil launch, the addition of the Portuguese language makes the app available in 11 languages.

Billionaire Elon Musk’s buyout of Twitter has stirred much interest in the micro-blogging landscape. Despite questions over the future existence of the micro-blogging giant, Twitter seems to be attracting new users and so are some other micro-blogging sites.

Take the case of India’s indigenous Koo, launched just three years ago, which clocked 50 million downloads earlier this month. Pitched as India’s home-grown alternative to Twitter, the app’s key feature is its focus on India’s indigenous languages, allowing “users to connect better with people that speak the same language,” said Mayank Bidawatka, co-founder of Koo App.

It boasts of “a presence in 100+ countries”, having recently logged a milestone of over one million downloads in Brazil within 48 hours of its launch in the country. “Koo is poised for a flock of new users to its platform due to its language focus. Millions of new users in Brazil moved to Koo within two days of launch. With a blockbuster entry of an open platform for self-expression in languages, Koo has recently witnessed 2 million Koos and 10 million likes within 48 hours, by users in Brazil alone,” the company had said. With the Brazil launch, the addition of the Portuguese language makes the app available in 11 languages.

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“Koo has emerged as one of the largest microblogs in the world, after Twitter,” Bidawatka said. “ We have users from multiple Indian languages, including English. We will look at expanding our wings to many other global languages and countries soon,” he added.

While Musk had rolled out an $8 fee for its coveted blue checkmark, only to withdraw it later due to a surge in parody accounts, Koo doesn’t believe in it. “We provide free self-verification (green tick) for citizens at large and a yellow tick of eminence for eminent personalities on the platform. These are fundamental rights in our opinion and shouldn’t be charged for. It’s a basic that the internet should enable,” the Koo App co-founder said.

Rise continues
The changes at Twitter brought much attention to Germany-based Mastodon, which feels like Twitter but is decentralised, open-source, and free of ads. The platform has sustained a continued rise in user base. In a single day post Musk’s Twitter buyout, “Mastodon got over 70K sign-ups,” it said on Twitter. On November 13, its number of active users rose to over 1.6 million, “which, for context, is over 3 times what it was just about two weeks ago!” it said in a tweet. Just a week later, it clocked over 2 million active monthly users. “I don’t want to just be posting about numbers like a clock, but the 2 million mark of monthly active users across the network is a pretty big deal,” Mastodon founder Eugen Rochko wrote on his platform.

Although similar to Twitter in many ways, what sets the platform apart from other social media platforms is decentralisation. “Unlike a traditional social network, it’s not a single website. Instead, you pick a “server” which is what hosts all your data,” it explained in a tweet. However, choosing a server can be confusing for some.

Tumblr, another micro-blogging platform, too, witnessed a sharp rise in the number of users since late October. Globally, its adoption surged 77% to 301,000 from 170,000, a Sensor Tower report of November 7 read.

Another app that seems to have found itself in the Twitter-alternative list is Hive. Its number of users has reached 1 million, it said in a tweet on Tuesday. Reportedly, it garnered a considerable number of these users following the Twitter buyout, data from Sensor Tower reflected.

Founded in 2019 and run by just a trio including its 24-year-old founder Kassandra Pop, Hive isn’t exactly a Twitter clone but an amalgamation of features of multiple social media platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, and even Myspace.

No death of Twitter
In a tweet on Tuesday, Musk said, “Twitter added 1.6M daily active users this past week, another all-time high. This will improve a lot as Twitter becomes fast to use outside of North America, Western Europe & Japan.” This came less than a week after he said, “And … we just hit another all-time high in Twitter usage lol.”

In fact, in the first 12 days after Musk took over, Twitter’s mobile app saw 7.6 million downloads globally. Global spending on Twitter also climbed 66% compared to the same period last year, while the daily app usage, too, saw a slight uptick of 2%, as per an analysis by Sensor Tower.

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First published on: 27-11-2022 at 04:45 IST