Safaricom pilots social media messaging app, Bonga

By professo

The Kenyan telecommunication firms, Safaricom, has begun the pilot launch of its new social media app, to be used for messaging.

Bonga, the Kiswahili term for chatting, will link to Safaricom’s mobile money platform, M-Pesa – combining money sending and communicating for its 28mn users.

The app sees the telecom’s move towards the application business as it aims to transform its platform into a form of social media.

Bonga will offer three ways of communication: user-to-user, user-to-business, and fundraising through “social groups”.

“It’s one thing to share information with somebody it’s another thing to make a payment, to send money to somebody,” stated Kamal Bhattacharya, Safaricom’s Chief Innovation Officer, over the phone.

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“We want to use this platform to make it much easier ... for people to engage,” he added.

“Our future is to become a platform that enables business in Kenya as well as our consumers to do their work in a different way.”

“Messenger platforms are the most popular apps, the most popular approach on the internet today to bring people together.”

Bonga has been launched as the first product by Alpha, Safaricom’s innovative incubator.

The app is currently being tested by staff before it will be launch for the general public later this year.

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