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Koo makes ads more engaging, launches new branding avenue for brands


The platform has introduced a new feature that turns like button into a floating brand icon upon clicking, for 24 hours. With this feature, the platform aims to help brands strengthen their interaction with consumers.

Microblogging platform Koo has unveiled a feature to amplify exposure to ads. With this feature, the like button will convert into a floating brand icon, upon clicking, for a period of 24 hours.

The feature will be available for brands to engage with the platform’s users to celebrate festivals, events of national importance, product launches, or to announce special offers. It is the latest addition to Koo’s pre-existing promotional toolkit that includes creative posts, banners or video promos, sponsored polls, or boosted profiles.

It isn’t every day that you see a social media platform allow brands to place themselves in what is clearly the most intimate moment of a user’s engagement with content. To have a brand’s logo appear as an animation when a user likes a post is one way to guarantee unfiltered attention.

The feature appears to be Koo’s way of sparking a new approach of strengthening consumer-brand engagement on the platform.

In a conversation with afaqs!, Aprameya Radhakrishna, chief executive officer & co-founder, Koo, mentions that bringing such innovative thoughts into the otherwise predictable world of social media is important.

“During the New Year festivities, everyone shared a positive emotion on social media. With our platform enabling celebrations, the most positive action that a user can take is hitting the like button. Millions of likes are measured on our platform every day. If that happy moment is shared by brands, it will enhance the experience. This is how this feature was conceived.”

“With this feature, we wanted to focus on the most positive emotion. After this scales up, there are other aspects of the platform that could help brands.”

Koo was launched in 2020 and, as per software company Sensor Tower, it currently has around 2.5 million monthly active users. Radhakrishna says that the Koo user base is in the 25-35 age bracket. This fairly educated and financially empowered demographic, has attracted various brands to the platform.

“There are brands that want to reach out to this age group. Gaming apps – real money gaming or otherwise, D2C clothing or electronic brands, fintech platforms and daily commerce brands have all maintained their presence on Koo to connect with consumers.”

In 2021, Apple partnered with Twitter ahead of its iPhone 13 launch. Twitter converted its like button animation to Apple’s logo.

On how Koo’s feature is different from Twitter’s tie-up with Apple, Radhakrishna says, “What Twitter did was different. Creating a floating icon of a brand with a press of a like button is happening for the first time in the microblogging space.”

“Twitter’s effort was hashtag-oriented, where the tweet had to include the hashtag for the Apple event. Also, the button didn’t turn into an Apple icon, but only animated the like button.”

Beyond such technical gimmicks, what do microblogging platforms have in their inventory to facilitate advanced marketing and advertising experience for brands? Also, with brands appearing in what is virtually the most personal moment of a user’s Internet experience, are the lines for intrusion and privacy blurred?

Here is what some industry experts have to say.

Mayur Milan, director – brand communication & digital, Ideosphere Consulting

From a tech architecture point of view, most microblogging platforms are only geared towards monetizing content. Anything else is just an intrusion into personal experience.

That is why the biggest microblogging site (Twitter) has struggled to generate side (non-content-based) revenue. And, it will remain a challenge for some time. Any new thing gets you more noise and visibility, rather than actual business returns.

That’s why even the biggest brands don’t use it regularly. Apple only uses the like button for Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) events or launches.

The platforms are designed in a way that prevents them from becoming multi-format advertising platforms. Look at Facebook, which harnessed the geo location advertising for the Cadbury Diwali campaign. Innovation will be tech-enabled, not placement-enabled.

Vikas Kumar Mangla, founder & CEO, Digital ROI

Koo’s feature is an example of how these platforms may need to get creative in order to offer unique advertising opportunities to brands. This feature is similar to Twitter’s feature, where the like button turns into an Apple logo. This type of advertising is called ‘button branding’ and it is a way for the platform to offer more advertising options to brands.

The effectiveness of these intricate brand-consumer exchanges on microblogging platforms such as Koo and Twitter can vary, depending on many factors, including the type of advertising, the audience and the overall campaign strategy.

Sponsored posts and influencer marketing can be effective ways for brands to reach out to a large, engaged audience. Ad targeting and direct messaging can be effective to reach out to a more specific and relevant audience.

Koo’s feature may be perceived as an intrusion by some consumers, as it may be seen as an unexpected and unwanted form of advertising. This is especially true if the consumer is hitting the like button in a personal moment and the ad is not relevant to his current interest. This can lead to a negative impact on the brand and the consumer’s experience on the platform.


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