By Zainab Iwayemi
Ayoba, an instant messaging app for Android devices has won the Africa digital award for Best Mobile Application at Africa digital festival held virtually to honour Africa’s digital champions.
The award signifies the year’s achievements as seen in the sharp rise in the number of users in the fourth quarter, which saw users respond positively to the many significant updates to the app.
The recent improvement contributes to the unique hyper-local focus for Ayoba as it allows for 22 languages, many of which are from Africa such as Xhosa, Zulu, Ibo, Arabic and more. In addition, Ayoba allows users to send and receive money via its partner’s MTN Mobile Money (MoMo), a functionality that is available in Cameroon, Ghana and Uganda.
The instant message app started the year as a small offering of content channels and ended the year with 124 content channels – which includes news and official Covid-19 updates, music, news, full gaming offering, lifestyle updates and education across seven languages.
In addition, the newest version of the app saw the inclusion of MicroApps. MicroApps are lightweight web apps, developed by third parties to address a specific community need, and are accessed from within the Ayoba app. Similar to the app itself, MicroApps are zero-rated for MTN customers, which means they can be used even when the user has zero data balance.
Nolan Wolff, head of Ayoba, disclosed that the app aims to help African developers. He said, “One of our key goals for Ayoba is to build a platform that brings opportunity for African developers. MicroApps will allow local developers to create apps that reflect local culture, values, and solve local challenges. It’s an incredibly exciting community development platform.
He added, “Developers are also able to leverage Ayoba APIs to create a more personalised and relevant experience. An interesting element is that developers can leverage the messaging interface for interaction with users in a safe and convenient manner”
In supporting the cause of developers interested in building MicroApps, Ayoba has launched the Ayoba Developers Portal to enable developers view the API documentation, have their queries answered, and submit their MicroApps for publication on the Ayoba app.