koo app: Koo makes its algorithms public to bring in more transparency


Chennai: Home grown multi-lingual microblogging platform Koo on Wednesday published the philosophy and workings behind its core algorithms in a bid to bring in more transparency and neutrality on the platform. The move is aimed to empower users to know why they are seeing the content that they do.

Algorithms are a set of mathematical rules that help to personalize and improve experiences for users based on their own behaviors and preferences. The core tenet of these algorithms is to drive relevancy for a user.

Koo’s move comes at a time when Twitter is facing flak from billionaire Elon Musk. The Tesla CEO has said that Twitter’s algorithms should be open source.

“Any changes to people’s tweets — if they’re emphasized or de-emphasized — that action should be made apparent,” he had said. “So anyone can see that that action has been taken so there’s no sort of behind-the-scenes manipulation, either algorithmically or manually.”

He added that the underlying code behind the algorithm should be available on GitHub, so that users could inspect it themselves.

Koo’s move to open up the algorithm seeks to educate and make users aware of how it achieves its objectives.

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Mayank Bidawatka, Co-founder, Koo told ET that Musk’s envisioning of an algorithm that is completely open to people who will be able to decide for themselves is one that is complex and not the most user-friendly option for an average user. He said that Musk, being a sophisticated user, could possibly make those decisions about how to make the algorithm work best for him but said that this was not something that would work for a large portion of the population.

“By making our algorithms public we are taking a step towards letting users understand how we drive relevance,” he explained. “Algorithms are constantly evolving, and are experimented with on a very frequent basis, and while we start with publishing these, in the near future, we will also be providing users with the flexibility to see a timeline feed if they so wish. This gives them the best of both worlds.”

Koo discusses the broad variables used in its four main algorithms – Feed, Trending #, People recommendations and Notifications. These four algorithms determine the type of content users see and consume.

“To speak openly about our algorithms is part of our commitment to letting users know that there are no hidden agendas at Koo,” Aprameya Radhakrishna, Co-founder & CEO, Koo said in a statement.

He added that the company will continue to keep users informed about how Koo operates, and to build trust about how it is building a “safe, unbiased and reliable social media platform for the future.”

Recently, Koo also enabled Voluntary Self-Verification which allows all users to get recognized as genuine, credible voices on the platform

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