At the latest Mobile West Africa Conference, which was held in Lagos Nigeria, Jongla unveiled its “light” instant messaging app. At the launch, the company revealed that the app is expected to enable users to send and receive free text messages, stickers, photos, videos and voice messages over the Internet using low-speed Wi-Fi networks as well as 4G, 3G, EDGE and GPRS.
IT NEWS AFRICA reports that at the reveal the company stated that the app essentially opens 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 company further revealed that the app has been specifically designed for emerging markets, as it takes only 2.5MB to download on Android phones compared to more than 20MB for most other messaging apps.
The company further revealed that the app also includes features such as:
Jongla Out – Jongla allows users to chat with all their phone book contacts. Users are not restricted to chatting only with other Jongla users. If the recipient does not have the app installed, they can chat via Jongla web app without needing to download or register.
Voice Messaging – Jongla includes an embedded voice effects studio. Users can record up to one minute of push-to-talk voice messages and add sound effects to make them sound like a different person.
Security – Jongla is using full TLS encryption to keep chats safe and protects privacy by allowing users to set a personal passcode lock.
According to WeAreSocial’s Digital in 2016 report, around 102 million of the 986 million mobile connections in Africa are classified as active social media users. For Nigeria, the figures are 154 million subscribers with 11 million active social media users.
Riku Salminen, CEO of Jongla, said “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.”
He added that: “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.”
“Users want something more fun and personal than just basic messaging to connect with friends and family. We believe in a world where everyone can communicate instantly, freely and securely from anywhere and with anyone regardless of where they live, which phone they have and which network they can access, he concluded”
The Jongla team is currently working to add new social and collaborative features to Jongla that will go way beyond traditional messaging. The next generation of Jongla, introducing new social features, will be launched by mid-2016.
Jongla is already localised to 20 languages and it can be downloaded for free by people living and working across Africa from the App Store, Google Play, Windows Phone Store, and Firefox Marketplace.