Indian social media app Koo on Wednesday launched a voluntary self-verification service for its users, in an unusual move that it believes will boost its platform’s credibility.
The Bangalore-headquartered startup said its platform allows users to verify themselves “within seconds” using a government-approved ID. Koo co-founder and CEO Apramaya Radhakrishna told gaming-updates in an interview that the feature is meant to improve speech quality and deter unwanted elements like spammers.
Radhakrishna explains that the user group is negatively contributing to social media platforms as there is no way people can hold them accountable.
Users who authenticate themselves receive a green checkmark next to their name when they reply to a message. “This will mentally give more weight to their contribution to the conversation,” he said, adding that posts and comments from verified users could end up ranking higher on the platform.
Radhakrishna said the startup will partner with third parties to authenticate users and will not store user IDs. This will make it impossible for startups to share users’ personal data with law enforcement, he said in response to a question.
Thanks to this, Ku, which is available in 10 Indian languages and has been downloaded over 30 million times, becomes a more attractive platform for advertisers as they have the opportunity to reach only those users who have verified themselves.
The startup, whose sponsors include Tiger Global, Mirae Asset, Bloom Ventures, Accel and 3one4 Capital, says no other social media platform has taken this step in the world.
“Users can authenticate themselves in less than 30 seconds with our secure and secure verification process. This is a big step towards providing greater user authenticity and encouraging responsible behavior on the platform. Most social networks allow only certain accounts. Kuo is the first platform that now allows every user to have equal privileges,” he said.
The announcement is part of Kuo’s broader effort to proactively address issues that prominent social networks Twitter and Facebook have been battling. Last week, Koo also released information about the inner workings of its algorithm, including how it ranks positions to help lawmakers better understand — and build trust — in the platform.
The platform, which has attracted many Indian politicians over the past year, allows users to reach out to a large number of users and post their opinions in multiple languages.
Radhakrishna also said that Koo is exploring new ways to make money on the platform, including Web3.