African mobile social network 2go has launched its long awaited for app for Android on the Google Play Store. The company, which scaled to over 10 million active users with only four developers, has been actively recruiting developer talent over the last 6 months to help accelerate it in to the smartphone market.
In Nigeria, where 2go is the largest social network, feature phones still dominate with around 88% market share, although AndroidT is growing increasingly important.
“Android is the fastest growing mobile platform across Africa, and with sub US$50 Android devices on the horizon, 2go’s mostly feature phone user base can now migrate with 2go as they move to smartphones”, says Alan Wolff, who founded 2go with Ashley Peter while still at university in Johannesburg in 2007.
According to Brad Taylor, MD of GfK South Africa, Android phones now represent 5.2% of current monthly phone sales in Nigeria, up from 3.4% in September 2012. Taylor notes that this trend is accelerating across Africa. “In Kenya, which is a more mature Android market, 52% of monthly sales are Android phones,” Taylor adds.
“We wanted to make sure that the first version of 2go for Android met the high expectations of our passionate user base”, says Wolff when asked why the market has waited so long for an Android version of 2go. “The team spent a long time refining the product to ensure that it matches, and hopefully surpasses the high quality, intuitive user experience of the feature phone version of 2go. We wanted to maintain the same fun social experience, but also create a beautiful product that looks, feels and behaves like a smartphone app”, says Ashley Peter, co-founder of 2go.
2go for Android now includes push notifications and a sleek user interface, which is intuitive and easy to use.
“Version 1 of 2go for Android is a good first step and we have received great feedback from users. But you can expect much more from us in the next few months as we refine the app and add functionality”, adds Peter. “This is just the beginning for 2go on smartphones.”