Since the last post about Vine, I have admittedly been a little obsessed with social networking applications, their progress and their use in Nigeria and Africa.

2GO is an instant messaging service that has been known to work across ALL mobile platforms including iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Symbian, BlackBerry, J2ME and Brew; and even on Personal computers.

According to strategy and communications consulting firm, ‘AfricaPractice’, in its social media report titled “The Social Media Landscape in Nigeria”, 2go is fast becoming Nigeria’s biggest social network with over 13 million users in the country outshining Eskimi, Facebook and WhatsApp which have 8.8 million, 6.5 million and 6 million users in Nigeria respectively. Presently, 2go currently has about 15 million active users globally with about 30% coming from Nigeria.

2go, I believe, largely owes its success to its strategy of focusing on the large majority of Nigerians who cannot afford the more expensive smartphones [Blackberries, iPhones, HTC, Galaxy phone series], and giving them a medium to communicate using what mobile devices they can afford. Its reputation as a mobile ‘venue for dating and flirting’ makes it especially popular among Nigerian teenagers and students and its popularity continues to grow in Nigeria as it exploits network effects.

While many smartphone users, especially BBM users remain oblivious, even me up till recently, to the use or even existence of the 2go app despite its obvious popularity, the 2go value plan is clearly stronger or the average young person in Nigeria on a budget than that of the Blackberry Messenger or any other IM platform; and is compatible on most mobile devices.

Because if you are a struggling student, unable to afford an expensive smartphone, 2go answers the question of “How will you communicate with your friends in a cheap yet engaging manner?”

Odunayo Eweniyi Author

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