The past two years have been an interesting one for the African messaging App, Ayoba as it has witnessed impressive growth in its user base, clocking 5.5 million users since its launch in 2019.
The app has also announced the launch of its new Android app (0.38) which offers users access to voice and video calling. This is coming on the backdrop of the second birthday of the platform on the 4th of May 2021.
The instant messaging platform that won an award for Best Mobile application in November last year has already rolled out the updated app for users, which is quickly becoming very popular amongst thousands of calls going out across the world every day.
Voice and Video calling requested by users
Nolan Wolff, Head of Ayoba explained that users have always asked when the Ayoba platform will start supporting VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) since the app was launched. Adding that the recent update is a fulfillment of that wish.
“We are extremely pleased to be able to answer their call with this new release. All that’s required is for both parties to upgrade to the latest version of the Android app,” said Wolff.
Web access for users with ayoba lite
Aside from the voice and video feature, the platform has also launched ‘ayoba lite’, a feature that allows users to message contacts from within a standard web browser, either from their desktop or a compatible smartphone.
According to a statement by the company, Ayoba lite is designed to “save space” for users who are short on memory space on their device and prefer not to download the app. Wolff explains that it was built as a progressive web app (PWA) that provides similar functionality as the full-featured Android app but works within a standard web browser.
“This makes ayoba accessible to a very broad audience and we expect to reach an entirely untapped market segment. The initial Beta version of the PWA is independent of the Android app but it will evolve to allow a user to easily switch between platforms,” Wolff said.
The app that was first launched in Cameroon in 2019 has garnered over 5.5 million users in the space of two years. During this time, it has also secured a partnership with MTN and evolved to include channels, music, games, micro-apps, MTN MoMo in some territories, and more.
Commenting on the number of users the app has garnered, Olivier Prentout, Head of Consumer Marketing at ayoba said: ‘5.5 million users is an immense milestone for a two-year-old application,’ adding that “Localisation has been a key focus for us and we are very proud that users can access the app in 22 languages.’
According to Prenton, the ayoba platform has over 130 channels in 7 languages including Arabic, Dari, Pashto, IsiZulu, English, Kinyarwanda, and French to name a few. The company has also tried to ensure that there is something for everybody.
The two years have indeed been very busy, and also very rewarding, culminating in the achievement of the Africa Digital Award for Best Mobile Application in November 2020, in a voting process involving both industry judges and the public.
The company in a statement said it has introduced peer-to-peer private messaging which is end-to-end encrypted. This makes it impossible for messages in the app to be read by anyone, or shared with third parties.
The company said users can feel confident that their private data will remain private, and is treated with the utmost care and respect. A user’s contacts and location are only available to other users if explicitly shared by the account owner.
In partnership with MTN, MTN customers are automatically allocated free data to use ayoba features. Allowances range from 50MB daily to unlimited usage, depending on the country (except for Benin).
Free data allocations can be used for all activities available in the app – including messaging, browsing, gaming, and listening to music. Users are advised that voice and video calls are excluded from the free data provisions.
Ayoba is enjoying a busy 2021, with many upgrades and additions planned to its extensive list of features, including exciting new content in Channels and local MicroApps from across Africa.