On Tuesday, 12 November 2019, MTN announced that its instant messaging platform, Ayoba has reached 1 million monthly active users. Ayoba is a messaging app localised for African and Middle East consumer needs, under an independent Over the Top (OTT) brand with unique features for MTN customers. The app supports many local languages spoken across the MTN markets including isiZulu, isiXhosa, Pidgin, Yoruba, Swahili, Hausa, French and English.
“We believe that our customers in Africa and the Middle East deserve a communication platform that expresses our unique voice, honours our rich identity through local languages, and addresses our customers’ specific needs and challenges by offering a data-included offering for MTN users, Mobile Money transfers (coming soon) and locally relevant content via channels,” says MTN Group President and CEO, Rob Shuter.
The platform which was launched earlier this year is now operational in 8 MTN markets, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Congo Brazzaville, Nigeria, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Afghanistan and South Africa. Ayoba is also available across multiple markets on the Google Play Store and via the Ayoba website www.ayoba.me as an OTT offering.
“Ayoba is also working on building an open digital platform that will enable third-party innovation. This will ensure that we offer a rich diversified experience on the platform, enabling us to deliver more value to our users, empower local developers and create local experiences that are optimised for local communities,” explains David Gilarranz, CEO MTN Digital.
Here are 6 of Ayoba’s key features and offerings:
1. Local languages: Ayoba is available in the top local languages in the markets where the offering has launched.
2. Chat now: Users can instantly send and receive text and voice messages with any of their contacts regardless of device type or network.
3. Security: End-to-end encryption means that messages in a conversation cannot be read by anyone else.
4. Chat with everyone: Users can send SMS text messages with anyone in their contact list, regardless of whether they’ve installed Ayoba or not.
5. Channels: Users can subscribe to Channels for locally relevant content across various categories.
6. Money transfers: Users will be able to make and receive payments via Mobile Money (coming soon).
Gilarranz adds that in addition to the number of exciting innovations on the cards Ayoba plans to expand to the rest of MTN’s markets, and other territories across the globe. Before the end of the year, Ayoba will go live in Guinea Conakry, Liberia, Benin and Rwanda.
Edited by Jenna Cook
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