“If you can’t BB, then 2go!” said a CP-Africa Facebook page member recently when we published a recent post about the mobile messaging app, 2go.im. We had just pitched 2go versus Blackberry Messenger (BBM) in our Versus contest on New Year’s eve last year and 2go was giving BBM a thrashing. Of the 169 people who voted in the poll, 124 voted for 2go thus capturing 71% of the vote. See the poll here.
Interestingly despite 2go’s massive popularity on CP-Africa and on our Facebook page, some of our members did not understand what the fuss was all about. “What is 2go?” a BBM user asked on our Facebook page. “I’ve never even heard of it,” she continued.
Many BBM users continued to pose the same question to us. It is unsurprising that BBM users are largely oblivious about 2go. With BBM as an arsenal, they have little to no use for the mobile messaging app. But what if you are struggling student, unable to afford a Blackberry device? How then will you communicate with your friends in a cheap yet engaging manner?
“If you can’t BB, then 2go”
2go.im has been successful because instead of targeting the small percentage of Nigerians who can afford the Blackberry smartphone, it targeted the vast majority of Nigerians who cannot. 2go is especially popular among Nigerian students looking to connect with their fellow school mates. As the mobile app allows users to find and interact with others based on location, it is the perfect application for a student community. Its popularity as a mobile venue for dating and flirting makes it especially popular amongst the guys and its popularity continues to expand in Nigeria as it capitalizes on network effects. At present 2go currently has abut 15 million active users globally with about 30% coming from Nigeria. The Blackberry device in contrast has about 2.4 million users in Nigeria. Read here for more.
For the average young person in Nigeria on a budget, the 2go value proposition is clearly stronger than that of Blackberry Messenger and is compatible on most mobile devices.
While Blackberry Messenger might get all the buzz because of its exclusivity, 2go is really the king of mobile messaging in Nigeria.
2go joins a rising crop of fast growing mobile platforms in Nigeria including Eskimi which currently boasts of about 2 million Nigerian users. Check out our interview with the C.E.O of Eskimi here.
In Nigeria, there is a growing revolution excluding the non BBM crowd and it looks like there is no stopping it.