2go overpowers Facebook in the Nigerian market

Social media site 2go has passed the 10 million user mark in Nigeria, making it the biggest such site in the West African country, ahead of Facebook with 5 million users.

The site claims to have over 21 million registered users in total across Africa, with an average 50,000 new registrations daily. Its biggest competitor in the African market, Mxit, has over 50 million users.

2go director Peter Lockhart attributes this success to “balancing a focus on what 2go’s users really want – a cheap, easy way to chat and socialise using their mobile phones – with the technical expertise needed to deliver that experience across thousands of different devices.”

Lockhart admits that building mobile technology for the African market is tough, considering the vast selection of feature phones in use in the African market.

“Data and SMS are expensive, and our users are price sensitive and savvy,” he said. “That means we have to deliver an application that uses the absolute minimum of system resources and bandwidth. Our response has been to develop proprietary communications protocols and compression algorithms that minimise the app’s data usage.”

The company says that their service supports more than 800 phone models, most of them feature phones, something that has required deep technical knowledge on their part.

To stay relevant, 2go has avoided overloading its app with many features. “Our users log in and out quickly, several times a day – they want things to be quick and simple,”said Lockhart.

The company has also integrated its chatting capability with the other social media apps and sites, like GTalk, Mxit and Facebook.

Recently, 2go launched the 2go Ad Platform and the 2go Market Research. The 2go Ad Platform enables companies and other advertising agencies to carry out adverts, while 2go Market Research allows users to carry out real-time surveys and polls.

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