African Messaging App Ayoba launches voice and video calling services
Ayoba, the African messaging app, has announced the launch of a new version of its android app (0.38) which offers users access to voice and video calling.
This comes as the app celebrates its second birthday on the 4th of May 2021 with a user base of 5.5 million monthly users and an award for Best Mobile application late last year. The updated app is already live and in use, and is quickly proving popular, with thousands of calls going out across the world every day.
“Users have been asking us to support VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) calls pretty much since day one,” says Nolan Wolff, Head of ayoba. “And we are extremely pleased to be able to answer their call with this new release. All that’s required is for both parties to upgrade to the latest version of the Android app. This is available immediately from the Google Play Store and our website at ayoba.me.”
Ayoba has also launched ‘ayoba lite’, allowing users to message contacts from within a standard web browser, either from their desktop or a compatible smartphone.
Ayoba lite is designed as a ‘space saver’ for users who are short on memory space on their device and prefer not to download the app. “Ayoba lite has been built as a progressive web app (PWA),’ explains Wolff. “This allows us to provide much the same core functionality as our full-featured Android app but contained within a standard web browser. This makes ayoba accessible to a very broad audience and we expect to reach an entirely untapped market segment. The initial Beta version of the PWA is independent of the Android app but it will evolve to allow a user to easily switch between platforms.”
“5.5 million users is an immense milestone for a two year old application,” says Olivier Prentout, Head of Consumer Marketing at ayoba. “It’s crazy to think that two years have gone by since we launched in Cameroon as our first territory and initial partnership with MTN. The app has changed so much, adding channels, music, games, micro-apps, MTN MoMo in some territories and more. Localisation has been a key focus for us and we are very proud that users can access the app in 22 languages.” Prentout continues, “We have over 130 content channels in 7 languages including Arabic, Dari, Pashto, IsiZulu, English, Kinyarwanda and French to name a few. There is something for everyone. Help is available to all users with our in app How To channel or via our virtual assistant Aya.”
The two years have indeed been very busy, and also very rewarding, culminating in the achievement of the Africa Digital Award for Best Mobile Application in November 2020, in a voting process involving both industry judges and the public.
The company recently reassured its users that it's not possible for messages in the app to be read by anyone, or shared to any third parties. The app features peer-to-peer private messaging which are end-to-end encrypted. A user’s contacts and location are only available to other users if explicitly shared by the account owner. Users can feel confident that their private data will remain private, and is treated with the utmost care and respect.
In partnership with MTN, MTN customers are automatically allocated free data to use ayoba features. Allowances range from 50MB daily to unlimited usage, depending on the country (with the exception of Benin). Free data allocations can be used for all activities available in the app - including messaging, browsing, gaming and listening to music, and customers can also download the app data free at www.ayoba.me. Users are advised that voice and video calls are excluded from the free data provisions.
Ayoba is enjoying a busy 2021, with many upgrades and additions planned to its extensive list of features, including exciting new content in Channels and local MicroApps from across Africa.