Nigeria will get first instant messaging app in Q3
Africans have been let down by US messaging apps so a creative Nigerian entrepreneur has stepped in and filled the gap in the market. Let’s Talk plans to launch Nigeria’s first instant messaging application, the eponymously named Lets Talk, which will be unveiled before the end of the third quarter of 2022.
On October 4 2021, WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram crashed leaving Africans bereft. Many lost money, more were cut off from families, friends and relatives. A significant number of workers were unable to conduct business normally. Folashade Ayeni, the chief Operating officer of Nigeria’s Let’s Talk, has decided to step in because she believes Africa deserves better. The huge economic and social impact of Facebook and WhatsApp’s service failures is only possible because of the huge commitment across Africa to take business and relationships onto social media, according to Ayeni. So the creative content supplier has come up with an inventive solution for Africans and the telcos that serve them.
At the launch of Let’s Talk Ayeni told journalists in Lagos the rationale for taking on Big Tech Global with an application that’s small tech and hyper local. “WhatsApp crashed for about six hours and the reality dawned on us that really, whether it was intentional or not, we could lose everything,” said Ayeni, “so we thought about owning our social media platform, where people can have guaranteed communications and security and privacy is also guaranteed, which is Nigerian owned and indigenous for us in Africa.”
The application was designed by a team of Nigerian software engineers within the vision of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), which has appealed for indigenous companies get involved in social media. Ayeni disclosed that the company was working with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and other relevant agencies to ensure the success of the application and acceptability by Nigerians.
There are several uniquely African features within the app, such as the 5,000-member group chat and seven-person conference calls. The app is to be end-to-end encrypted, while allowing users to listen and share music, video and audio calls. The file exchange will be limited to 2GB. “It also allows for device and cloud caching as well as sharing moments and trends which will give users very pleasant experiences,” said Ayeni. The application can be downloaded on Google Play and App Store for both Android and Apple phones.