Have you ever shelved a tweet or left it to rot in the drafts because it somehow didn’t read right? Koo, Twitter’s Indian rival, is using ChatGPT to help its users overcome this problem. 

Koo’s verified users can now type in or record prompts for what they want to post about, and ChatGPT does the rest. “Creators [want to] ask, ‘What’s newsy today?’, ‘What can I talk about?’, ‘Can you write me a short quote?’” Mayank Bidawatka, co-founder of Koo, told me. “They would’ve anyway gone to ChatGPT on their computer and used [a prompt] like this, so why not just make it available inside the app itself?”

Automated microblogging might seem like a surprising route for a Twitter-like platform to take, since rawness and originality are baked into the format (Let’s not forget that Twitter was sitting on an edit button forever.) But the yellow “bird app” — which has recently emerged as a Twitter alternative in Nigeria and Brazil, besides India — sees its ChatGPT integration as a unique way to “create triggers.”

“You need triggers to create. That trigger could be me reading the newspaper, it could be reading something else someone else said today. And we thought [ChatGPT] can be a very interesting trigger to creation,” Bidawatka said.

Koo, which had over 60 million downloads globally at the end of last year,  primarily caters to non-English-speaking users. In December 2022, about 60% of Koo’s users were Hindi speakers, with a 20-20 split in people who used it in English and other regional languages. ChatGPT, though, works most effectively in internationally spoken languages like English, and Koo is counting on its own platform to help ChatGPT bridge the gap for local languages.

“[ChatGPT’s language] accuracy will depend on the depth of information, databases that are available in those languages. [Koo] can become a strong source of information [for] this model,” Bidawatka said. “We have a lot of local language content being created every day. So, in the long run, ChatGPT could be reading from Koo and throwing out intelligent stuff.”

The company is confident that ChatGPT could become an added advantage for it against Twitter. Though “it depends on how creators latch on to [the feature], how they keep using it. [Such creators will] always prefer a platform that has it to a platform that doesn’t,” Bidawatka said.

Koo is yet to add labels that clearly indicate if a post has been created via ChatGPT, but this feature is reportedly in the pipeline.



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