New instant messenger comes to Africa, launches in Nigeria - CNBC Africa

New instant messenger comes to Africa, launches in Nigeria

Western Africa

by Tendai Dube 0

New instant messenger comes to Africa, launches in Nigeria. Photo: Jongla

Mobile messaging company, Jongla is ready to launch its instant messaging app in West Africa’s Nigeria.

According to research by We Are Social, Nigeria has 154 million mobile subscribers and only a fraction of those are active social media users,  of which Jongla is trying to fill.

"We think the gap is really because Nigeria is one of the highest users of mobile internet but on the other hand the bandwidth is very low - it tells that many of our competitors have not built the service so that it really meets the user experience in Nigeria and I think in the whole continent as well," said Jongla, CEO, Riku Salminen.

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Salminen says it chose Nigeria because it is “hungry” for new technology.

"We have been very patient to build the product right, and now we think that the time is right,” he said.

It reckons Nigeria has great potential and a great future ahead with a population looking towards 200 million and a great demand for low-end smartphones and sales are skyrocketing and Salminen says that instant messaging in essence powers smartphones.

“Jongla is only 2 Mb in size, its ten times less, compared to our competitors like WhatsApp so when you download it, you save money when you use it, It doesn’t consume your data plan and it gives the connection very well and that is very important,” said Salminen.

Jongla plans to win the market against the many global competitors through its built-in system which allows communication across apps.

“It’s actually one of the only messaging applications in the world that is open platform, so it doesn't matter what app your friends are using - you can chat to anyone."

It will also value added services such as interactive and filters for voice messaging, Salminen says it’s all about making messaging fun for people.

 

"I want to help people get connected and find new friends in a clever way," he said.

"We think instant messaging is not only replacing the traditional use of SMS and MMS, it is also replacing the use of Facebook and other social network services so people want this social features from instant messaging and we are building the app as a social messenger - where you can actually chat with the people nearby and so on.”

The platform is showing “good exponential” growth says the CEO “we have not yet come out with the numbers but we are growing now with the millions - we have a solid base and it is growing - we look forward to the future."

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