Programmers, developers, marketing executives, company founders and CEOs; everyone was eager to understand what all the ado about Chat 3.0 was really about. And they got their answers at the just concluded first edition of Africabeta.

Adia Sowho, Head of Digital Media at Etisalat Nigeria (and one of our speakers at the conference) started educating us about Chat 3.0 right there on the Red Carpet.

Yep, this right here, was when we knew we were in for a special treat.

As the conference kicked off, the hall buzzed like a military control room as comms were flowing in and out of several channels – video, audio, tweets and posts. In no time, we had #AfricaBeta #WeChatBeta trending on the interwebs.

Our host, Lamide Akintobi had us all relaxed and comfy as she welcomed everyone to the event.


Lamide Akintobi getting the show on the road

Seyi Taylor, Co-founder of Big Cabal Media was the first to take the stage. His short presentation served as our primer, answering the one question, “Why are we here?” and successfully whetting our appetites for what was coming.


Messaging apps and businesses are fusing in exciting ways

Our next speaker was Adia Sowho. She pulled up a chair, so we turned off the music, pulled our chairs closer and shushed anybody whose phone was not on silent. She got comfortable and then laid facts and figures on us.


Adia Sowho giving statistics on user messaging behaviour

Etop Ikpe, Co-CEO of DealDey was up next. He spent about 15 minutes expounding on hyperlocal possibilities and peer-to-peer commerce. If you’d asked me, I’d have said it’s impossible to deliver a presentation with that amount of insight and “Aha” moments in those 15 minutes, but Etop did. Bravo!


Next up, Idemudia Dima-Okojie, WeChat Regional Manager for West Africa. As probably the person in the room who was most familiar with the app, he led us on a journey into the WeChat app and all the possibilities it offers startups and programmers. Then he gave us the first demo of the evening – we got to see how Official WeChat accounts work. Then he decided to show off by tuning in to a radio station directly from inside the app.


Ladies and gentlemen, Chat 3.0 is real. And it’s way cooler!

The audience were given the opportunity to ask questions which led to some interesting back and forths. And while some questions had to be shelved for later, it was obvious that the conversation would continue long after the conference.


If the first Africabeta was a pie, the meaty middle would have to be when Emotu Balogun, Cofounder of Traclist, gave us a live demo of Traclist working flawlessly on the WeChat app. We got to see how a user could make queries from the Traclist servers and have the appropriate fashion items sent to him/her all inside the WeChat app.  For a demo that was put together in just a few hours, it got the guests clapping.


Traclist cofounder, Emotu, placing a request to the Traclist server

Bankole Oluwafemi, Cofounder of Big Cabal Media, came up to wrap everything up with a vote of thanks. At one point, he asked, “Hope you all had fun and learned something.”

Well, I’ll let the guests respond themselves:

I believe the answer’s an emphatic yes, we most certainly did!

READ NEXT: All the Best Pictures from the Africabeta Conference

Ibukun Taiwo Author

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