By Celestine Okorie, Correspondent South Africa
The African messaging app, Ayoba , has announced the launch of a new version of its android app (0.38) which offers users access to voice and video calling. This comes as the app celebrates its second birthday on the 4th of May 2021 with a user base of 5.5 million monthly users and an award for Best Mobile application late last year. The updated app is already live and in use, and is quickly proving popular, with thousands of calls going out across the world every day.
Voice and Video calling requested by users
‘Users have been asking us to support VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) calls pretty much since day one,’ says Head of ayoba, Nolan Wolff. ‘And we are extremely pleased to be able to answer their call with this new release. All that’s required is for both parties to upgrade to the latest version of the Android app. This is available immediately from the Google Play Store and our website at ayoba.me.’
Web access with ayoba lite
Ayoba has also launched ‘ayoba lite’, allowing users to message contacts from within a standard web browser, either from their desktop or a compatible smartphone. Ayoba lite is designed as a ‘space saver’ for users who are short on memory space on their device and prefer not to download the app. ‘Ayoba lite has been built as a progressive web app (PWA),’ explains Wolff. ‘This allows us to provide much the same core functionality as our full-featured Android app but contained within a standard web browser. This makes ayoba accessible to a very broad audience and we expect to reach an entirely untapped market segment. The initial Beta version of the PWA is independent of the Android app but it will evolve to allow a user to easily switch between platforms.’ Ayoba lite can be accessed on web.ayoba.me.
A very happy 2nd birthday
‘5.5 million users is an immense milestone for a two year old application,’ says Head of Consumer Marketing at ayoba, Olivier Prentout. ‘It’s crazy to think that two years have gone by since we launched in Cameroon as our first territory and initial partnership with MTN. The app has changed so much, adding channels, music, games, micro-apps, MTN MoMo in some territories and more. Localisation has been a key focus for us and we are very proud that users can access the app in 22 languages.’ Prentout continues, ‘We have over 130 content channels in 7 languages including Arabic, Dari, Pashto, IsiZulu,
English, Kinyarwanda and French to name a few. There is something for everyone. Help is available to all users with our in app How To channel or via our virtual assistant Aya’.
The two years have indeed been very busy, and also very rewarding, culminating in the achievement of the Africa Digital Award for Best Mobile Application in November 2020, in a voting process involving both industry judges and the public.
In partnership with MTN, MTN customers are automatically allocated free data to use ayoba features. Allowances range from 50MB daily to unlimited usage, depending on the country (with the exception of Benin). Free data allocations can be used for all activities available in the app – including messaging, browsing, gaming and listening to music, and customers can also download the app data free at www.ayoba.me. Users are advised that voice and video calls are excluded from the free data provisions.
Ayoba is enjoying a busy 2021, with many upgrades and additions planned to its extensive list of features, including exciting new content in Channels and local MicroApps from across Africa. Its ayoba!
10 REASONS TO USE AYOBA:
1. FREE TO USE: ayoba is free to use. You need data to send messages and files to your contacts, but if you are on the MTN network, you will get free data every day to use the app.
2. CHAT AND CALL NOW: Instantly send and receive text and voice messages, voice notes, and voice and video calls with any of your contacts.
3. SECURE: End-to-end encryption means that messages in a conversation cannot be read by anyone else.
4. QUICK CONNECT: Use your existing address book to quickly and easily connect you with your contacts.
5. CHAT WITH EVERYONE: Send SMS text messages with anyone in your contact list, regardless of whether they’ve installed ayoba or not. If the friend you send to does not have the app, the message will be delivered by SMS. They can respond by SMS and it will come back into your app. This is a unique technology.
6. GROUP CHAT: The more the merrier! Set up group chats to easily communicate with friends and family in a single chat.
7. SHARING IS CARING: Share videos, images, audio, and other files with your contacts.
8. LET’S MEET: Share your real-time location with your ayoba contacts.
9. CHANNELS: Consume all content across various categories ranging from news, sports, fashion, music, education to entertainment and much more, all within the ayoba app. All of our channels are Africa centric – such as the Black Star channel for Ghana, Scrolla Africa in IsiZulu, Pulse Channels for Nigeria and Ghana covering business news, current affairs and entertainment, and over 50 artist channels highlighting African musicians and many more.
10. LISTEN AND PLAY Our free music service allows users to listen to trending songs in our fantastic playlists, featuring the best of local and international music. We have games that you can play as well, such as BattleShip, Pinball, Solitaire and more. New content is added every day.