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Jongla (pronounced “yongla”) has announced it will officially launch its chat app into the African Market at the ongoing Mobile West Africa conference.

Competing with other chat apps like Whatsapp and WeChat, Jongla has the advantage of being a lighter service, taking up less phone memory space and using less bandwidth. Data management is a general concern with internet users in Africa and Jongla hopes to use their advantage to break into Africa.

jongla CEO

Jongla CEO, Riku Salminen

Established and based in Finland, Jongla is a company that specialises in operator, device, and platform-independent mobile messaging. They are proving this proficiency with their app which enables users send and receive messages (including audio, video and pictures) using low-speed Wi-Fi networks, 4G, 3G, EDGE or even GPRS. The app is also data-friendly and it’s only 2.5MB in size, as opposed to other messaging apps which can be as heavy as 20MB.

According to the release, Jongla is taking the market with these features in their bag:

  • JONGLA OUT: Free chat with any contacts. Users can chat seamlessly with all their phone book contacts and are not restricted to chatting only with other Jongla users. If the recipient does not have the app installed, they can chat via the web app without needing to download or register.
  • VOICE MESSAGING: Including fun audio filters for users to apply and share with friends. The app comes with a unique embedded voice effects studio. Users can record up to one minute of push-to-talk voice messages and add sound effects to make them sound like a different person, animal or funny thing.
  • RELIABLE AND SECURE: Jongla is a super fast and reliable multi-platform messenger that delivers messages safely. Using full TLS encryption, the app keeps chats safe and protects privacy by allowing users set a personal passcode lock.
  • EASY SHARING: Comprising text messages, voice messages, photos, videos and interactive stickers.
  • GROUP CHAT: Jongla users can enjoy group chats with up to 100 friends.


jongla riku

Riku Salminen

Nigeria will be the first African country to access the Jongla app. Talking about the launch, CEO Riku Salminen said, “We have made instant messaging possible for people who don’t have high-end smartphones and live and work in areas where there is often limited access to mobile broadband. We chose Nigeria to launch Jongla in Africa because we know that many people here are frustrated with the current user experience that most of the IM apps offer.  We have been able to solve various technical challenges without needing to compromise on functionality. Users want something more fun and personal than just basic messaging to connect with friends and family. We believe in a world where everyone can communicate instantly, freely and securely from anywhere and with anyone regardless of where they live, which phone they have and which network they can access.”

Jongla is already making plans to add features to make it more than just another IM app. Later this year will see the introduction of new social features.

Presently, the the app is localised to 20 African languages and can be downloaded for free from App Store, Google Play, Windows Phone Store, and Firefox Marketplace.

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