Mobile Social Site Now Has 14,000 Networks

Their aim was clear: to get Africans socializing on the preferred mobile platform. Almost two years down the line, Motribe brags of over 1.8 million users globally and growing. With 14,000 tribes (networks) created, Motribe is becoming the face of African mobile social media.

Motribe is a mobile platform that helps individuals and brands to start and operate their own social networks. Co-Founder Nic Haralambous spoke to HumanIPO on the purpose that the network has served.
“We started Motribe to help solve a problem we had ourselves and had identified for others; we knew that in the emerging markets desktop internet was a non-starter and this meant that people who wanted to connect with communities, grow their business, create content or do anything on the web in general, needed to do so from their mobile phones. We plugged a gaping hole in the emerging markets on the mobile Internet,” he said.

The penetration of mobile telephony has definitely opened avenues for different social platforms to be available on the mobile web. Indeed new platforms like Saya Chat and The Grid have used the power of the mobile web to launch user friendly sites for Africans. But the challenge is still rife.

“I think that culture differences are probably the greatest barrier we’ll face as we grow. However there are some practical technical things that need to be considered when building for the mobile markets and the feature phone specifically. Keeping abreast of the latest technology while catering for the backdated tech is always a fun challenge too,” Nic said.

Robert Alai, the founder of Techmtaa, an online blog on African technology, also concurs on the cultural and political challenges. “Cracking the African jungle is very hard especially when the pan-African idea is only on paper while our governments have greater barriers for integration in Africa,” he told HumanIPO.

New interesting additions have been made on the Motribe platform including, recently launching “language support in Portuguese, Hindi and Swahili, users can expect more languages, features and a few new themes and skins for their tribes,” Nic confirmed.

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