SMARTPHONES, Tech stories

The best 2 social and messaging apps from Africa

Let’s explore 2 of the best social networks from Africa. I call them, “the Fantastic two”. First, I have a few questions for you; How do you find WhatsApp, addictive? How many hours a day do you spend on social media? A 2019 study by Global Web index revealed that citizens across a number of African countries spend more time on social media compared to their peers across the world, are Globally, digital consumers are perceived to spend an average of 2 hours and 23 minutes a day on social networks and messaging, according to the same source.

Suggested reading: How Much Time Do People spend on Social media a day.

What are the social and messaging apps you use, Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, Instagram? How many of these social apps are you active on, on a regular base? Are these social networks really good enough for you? This is not an investigation, these are simply important questions whose answers will help you find the most value in this article.

best messaging and social network apps in Africa
best messaging and social network apps in Africa

A little more on Social networks

Despite being essential for communication, entertainment, advertising/marketing, and also piling up billions of users, each of the above social and messaging apps have a constraint. For example, you can’t really enjoy the services of Whatsapp without a phone number; whilst Facebook is said to have a lot of security issues, including identity theft, exposure to malware, etc… I’ve personally been a victim to identity theft on Facebook. What about Instagram, where one doesn’t get to choose when not to play a video…? One could easily be in disgust with these messaging apps. So even if you feel you’re addicted to these apps already, you just haven’t seen all of it yet. Reading this piece to the end could open up your eyes. Read more on the impact of social networks, in this article.

best social network and messaging apps in Africa
best social network and messaging apps in Africa

What’s the point of this post?

The point of this post isn’t to highlight the major pitfalls of global social and messaging apps. Instead, I hope to use this article to try and turn your attention to more interesting and amazing social networks from Africa. Communication in Africa through social media applications is controlled 99.9% by inventions from the West, according to CEMAC-ECO FINANCE. The story is changing, that’s why in this article we’ll explore 2 of the best social and messaging apps from Africa. These apps are homemade, they’re intriguing, and I’m sure you’ll be as thrilled as I’ve been since using them. After reading this article, you’ll definitely be looking to try out a new social and messaging app, something original, something that could really understand you, a network that could actually allow you to; express yourself, be yourself and most of all, feel at home. It’s time to try something new, let’s get to it.

  1. Dikalo
best messaging app from Africa, Dikalo
best Messaging app from Africa, Dikalo

Dikalo, which means “message” in the Cameroonian Douala language, is a social network that allows you to connect with friends, family, and communities of people who share the same interests. The Dikalo messaging application is giving Africa its own messaging system. Dikalo’s focus is on privacy, speed, and security, while offering simplicity, easy of use, and at absolutely no cost. You can use Dikalo on all your devices at the same time, even without a phone number. This happens to be the perculiarity of Dikalo, the fact that you can get access to the social network, without any personal details.

Created by Cameroonian Alain Ekambi, Dikalo boasts of over 50,000 daily active users, earning a 3.9 rating on the google play store from over 470 reviews. This technological ecosystem is available on android, iOS, the Web, Windows, Mac and Linux.

Find out more about the origin of Dikalo, read this article.

Dikalo – Features

  •  Dikalo offers you a private personal code. With this code, you could find a friend and create a connection.
  • Customized 100% African stickers, emoticons and languages to bring Africans together; Camer stickers, Zouzoukwa from the Ivory Coast, Naija stickers from Nigeria, Oju and many others.
Dikalo Messaging app, African emoticons, stickers
Dikalo Messaging app, African emoticons, stickers
  • Enjoy Multimedia services: send text, images and voice messages.
  • Take a swim into Public and private group chats to discuss with people that share same interests, friends and family.
  • You can allow access to your telephone directory. Dikalo will be able to allow you to send a friend request to your contacts already registered on the platform.
  • Access to your directory is purely voluntary and not compulsory as is the case with some other messaging services. Thus you (the user) gets to control when and how you share your private information with anyone.

Ekambi says that Dikalo represents Africa miniature, because it creates a home for all Africans. Even you are out of the continent, Dikalo is your home. The messaging service is a little like China’s WeChat or India’s Hike. Join the Dikalo community today, download the Dikalo app here. Dikalo is where you belong, can’t wait to see you there!

2. Ayoba

best messaging apps in Africa, Ayoba
best messaging apps in Africa, Ayoba

If you’re an MTN user, Ayoba shouldn’t be new to you. To be honest with you, It’s no surprise that it took Ayoba only up to November 2019 to get to one million daily active users, after it’s official launch in March 2019. In case you didn’t already know, Ayoba is MTN’s own instant messaging app; MTN being one of Africa’s leading telecommunications company. Providing access to affordable communications to ensure that people in African markets can reap the social, economic and developmental dividends of being online is the goal of MTN through Ayoba. The Ayoba messaging app is aimed at bringing more people into the digital world by providing them with an affordable and simplified digital communication service.

Suggessted read: 5 things you need to know about Ayoba…

Why is Ayoba so Sweet?

Ayoba is a free instant messaging app for Android devices. You can chat with anyone regardless of whether they have the Ayoba app or not. That’s what makes Ayoba very special. Ayoba lets you securely send and receive text messages, voice messages, videos, images, audio and other files with any of your contacts, using your mobile internet connection (data). Ayoba is 100% made in Africa, by Africans, for Africa. MTN celebrates the diversity of Africa by providing a world-class messaging platform that reflects local needs and aspirations. In no time, users of ayoba will be able to make and receive payments via Mobile Money on the messaging platform.

Messaging apps made in Africa, Ayoba. CHat with friends
Messaging apps made in Africa, Ayoba.

Ayoba’s Features

  • With Ayoba, you always have total control of who you chat with, by letting you easily block and unblock contacts.
  • Incorporated sophisticated end-to-end encryption to keep your data safe and ensure your privacy. This means that messages in a conversation cannot be read by anyone else, not even the team at Ayoba. Wow!
  • QUICK CONNECT: Use your existing address/phone book to quickly and easily connect you with your contacts.
  • Send SMS text messages with anyone in your contact list, regardless of whether they’ve installed Ayoba or not.
  • Set up group chats to easily communicate with friends and family in a single chat.
  • News feed: Ayoba allows users to join any channel for trending news updates, and like Facebook, the news channels cover topics ranging from food tips and tricks to music and sports updates etc.
  •  Calls: Make calls within the Ayoba messaging app using your voice connection. However, every call you make you is charged using your airtime minutes.
  • Ayoba allows messaging in eight different African languages, including: English, Swahili, Pidgin (Cameroon), Francais, Côte d’Ivoire Jula, Ganda, Xhosa, and Zulu.
  • Share Location: Share your real-time location with your Ayoba contacts.

To top it all, its completely free! Knowing all of this, I still wonder why some people haven’t installed Ayoba yet. Competition from the likes of Facebook and Whatsapp could account for this, but with all the money and work that the company is putting in, it’s only a matter of time before Ayoba becomes the order of the day in Africa. Stop reading, download Ayoba here, Join your true community today and start sharing. Welcome back!

download the best messaging apps in Africa
download the best messaging apps in Africa

Which of these messaging apps have you gone for, Dikalo or Ayoba? I use both, that’s how I wrote this article. What do you think of them, Feel free to tell us all about your thoughts and experience in the comment section at the very buttom of this page. Don’t forget to show us some love if you did enjoy the post, use the share buttons still at the bottom to share this article to your friends.

Keep reading, Thank you

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