August 14, 2020
As the new and first CCO of Arifu, I take immense pleasure in announcing the launch of our Arifu Whatsapp channel, which launched in early August and is continuously being updated with more and more content in collaboration with some of our partners.
Social media messaging accounted for around 40% of user activity among a vast sample base of 15,000 tracked apps and three different WhatsApp mod versions were among the ten most used messaging apps according to analysis based on anonymously logged smartphone activity tracked by Caribou Data’s research app on users’ phones, with their permission.
As of July 2020, WhatsApp has topped over 2 billion users. The platform is particularly ubiquitous in the Global South, especially in countries with unreliable internet and low average incomes and local entrepreneurs are not only using Whatsapp for personal messaging but also selling their products.
As an example, I can order fish from a Mombasa fisher using WhatsApp and even though I tried to convince the merchant to consider an online e-commerce website, he politely declined on the basis that he has generated sufficient orders all via WhatsApp. In his own words “WhatsApp is already there,” Ricardo says. “So it’s the easiest way to reach somebody.”
I also foresee that with companies such as KaiOS and Safaricom’s, there will be a massive increase in the growth of smartphones in Africa. In recent news a few days old, Safaricom in a unique partnership with Google has launched a new product where customers can now access a brand new 4G-enabled smartphone by paying as low as KES20 daily for the devices. Safaricom will now give qualifying customers more accessible access to the internet through their world-first initiative dubbed Lipa Mdogo Mdogo in partnership with Android, Google’s operating system for mobile. This initiative will allow qualifying customers access to the internet and the world of possibilities through a smartphone that they can pay-as-they-use on a daily or weekly basis which will only increase the use of data messaging apps such as WhatsApp.
So in summary, I am delighted that we now have the ability for our learners to be able to learn through any of our diverse channels: iSMS, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp and Telegram. We look forward to continuous innovation both in terms of channels as well as expanding our content library to keep learners engaged and create an impact for every learner that interacts with Arifu.