New Instant Messaging Service Launched in Africa

Jongla has launched what it claims is the world’s lightest instant messaging service in Africa, claiming to use less bandwidth and just 10 per cent of a handset’s memory compared with rivals.

Finnish headquartered Jongla is launching the instant messaging app in Africa at the Mobile West Africa conference in Lagos, with the app enabling users to send and receive unlimited free text messages, stickers, photos, videos and funny voice messages. Rival apps include WhatsApp, WeChat and Viber, stiff competition for a new market entrant to go up against.

Jongla works over the internet using low-speed Wi-Fi networks as well as 4G, 3G, EDGE and GPRS, aiming to open up the world of free instant messaging to people living and working in Africa, where cellular and data services are often unreliable and expensive. The Jongla app has been specifically designed for emerging markets, because it takes only 2.5MB to download on Android phones compared to more than 20MB for most other messaging apps.

Features include Jongla Out, which allows users to chat seamlessly with phone contacts, and voice messaging. Users can record up to one minute of push-to-talk voice messages and add sound effects. Jongla is using full TLS encryption to keep chats safe and protects privacy by allowing users to set a personal passcode lock.

“We have made instant messaging possible for people who don’t have high-end smartphones and live and work in areas where there is often limited access to mobile broadband,” said Riku Salminen, CEO of Jongla. “We chose Nigeria to launch Jongla in Africa because we know that many people here are frustrated with the current user experience that most of the IM apps offer. We have been able to solve various technical challenges without needing to compromise on functionality.”

Sign-up to our weekly newsletter

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news, articles, event and product updates posted on Developing Telecoms.
Subscribe to our FREE weekly email newsletters for the latest telecom info in developing and emerging markets globally.
Sending occasional e-mail from 3rd parties about industry white papers, online and live events relevant to subscribers helps us fund this website and free weekly newsletter. We never sell your personal data. Click here to view our privacy policy.