Social media users in Africa to chat for less money with Jongla app

Jongla, a Finnish based social media market place has designed a low cost social messaging app akin to Whatsapp that will see users save up to 7 times of their data bundles and device spaces, even as people across the globe look for more affordable internet based apps to conduct their businesses.

Unlike Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger which takes 23.7 and 30.2MB to download respectively, Jongla takes only 3.4MB and uses only 10 percent of the handset’s memory.

The launch of more affordable applications into the social media market place is expected to see more businesses in low internet countries like Kenya embrace ICT which is said to be the next business frontier in the region.

A recent Ready Business Index by Safaricom Business which sampled 1200 SMEs in the country put the level of ICT adoption by businesses in Kenya at 54 percent, a figure far below compared to developed economies like US. The 2015 Internet Stats report blame low adoption of ICT to  high internet cost in Africa.

Jongla is similar to WhatsApp and other IM apps in a number of ways: most importantly, people sign up using their existing mobile numbers and the apps work across different platforms. They are all free to download and use.

Jongla’s unique data compression techniques mean it does not consume as much mobile data as other messaging

apps for essential background processes. It also enables users to share thumbnails of photos so their friends only download when they want, saving valuable data and money. It enables users to send and receive unlimited free text messages, stickers, photos, videos and funny voice messages over the Internet using low-speed Wi-Fi networks as well as 4G, 3G, EDGE and GPRS.

According to Riku Salminen, CEO of Jongla, the app is the most affordable in the market and aims to reach out to internet users especially in Africa and other developing market places faced with high costs of internet and low speed.  He explained that Jongla uses 80 percent less data compared to Viber and 25 percent less data compared to Facebook

In addition to chatting, Jongla users can now discover and interact with new friends based on their location with a built-in community feature called ‘People’. The feature was designed to enable users to be able to discover interesting new people around them. To protect user privacy, only an approximate location is given and the feature is optional. Reactions can be exchanged between people in Jongla’s community to express emotions from a simple thumbs-up, smile or even a virtual flirtation with a heart.

Jongla is already localized to 33 languages and it can be downloaded for free by people living and working across Africa from the App store, Google Play, Windows phone Store and Firefox Marketplace


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