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Apps Installation Across Sub-Saharan Africa Increases 55%

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Apps Installation

By Adedapo Adesanya

The number of apps installed across sub-Saharan Africa increased by 55 per cent in 2020 compared with 2019, a report by AppsFlyer, a global attribution leader, has disclosed.

The organisation said in its report that over 30,000 different apps recorded more than 48 billion installations in the period under review.

In the report, AppsFlyer’s mobile marketing analytics noted that COVID-19 forced more people to be on their mobile devices this year, especially because of lockdown and phone users found solace in apps that enabled them to shop, play games, keep fit, stream or indulge in social networking.

In sub-Saharan Africa, key app trends throughout 2020 showed that there was a 93 per cent growth in in-app purchases between April and May 2020 in South Africa, driven by strict COVID-19 lockdown measures and better access to online stores. This is compared to a 43 per cent increase between September and November 2019.

Nigeria saw a 57 per cent increase in organic app installs (44 per cent in non-organic app installs) in 2020 compared to 2019.

The average number of purchases per user in South Africa in general retail apps increased by around 20 per cent between March and April.

An analysis of 27 billion app installs across 495 media networks and 14,000 apps revealed that Google was the best platform for driving performance for app marketers in Africa, while Facebook was the best platform for remarketing across Africa and the Middle East.

It was further shown that Google dominated on Android due to its leap in developing countries where the operating system dominates, while Facebook controls much of iOS.

Globally, summary trends from 2020 showed that mobile app marketers spent $74.6 billion globally in 2020 to drive users to install mobile apps, indicating a 30 per cent increase compared to 2019.

It was revealed that the number of app downloads increased by 33 per cent in 2020, compared to 25 per cent in 2019.

An analysis of 45 apps (mainly eCommerce, Finance, Media & Entertainment, and Food & Drink) found that the number of app installs with a preceding visit to the brand’s website has almost doubled this year.

Speaking on the app trends for the year, the MD Latam & Africa, AppsFlyer, Mr Daniel Junowicz, commented: “Africa’s mobile-first economy has been one of the key markets that has shifted quickly to digital in recent years. Brands here understand more than any other region that mobile needs to be at the forefront of their business activity.

“Looking ahead to 2021, the signs look positive for SMEs looking to acquire more customers through their mobile devices.

“2020 was a challenging year globally for all businesses but with more users seeking to conduct numerous activities on their mobile devices, marketers need to meet consumers where they are to drive sales and mimic the in-person experience as some physical activities increasingly become digital experiences.”

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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NCC Orders Implementation of Harmonised Short Codes

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harmonised short codes

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has directed mobile network operators (MNOs) to commence implementation of the approved harmonised short codes (HSC) for providing certain services to telecom consumers in the country.

The Director of Public Affairs at the NCC, Mr Reuben Muoka, in a statement on Monday, said the unified short codes were approved in line with its consumer-centric approach to telecom regulation.

According to him, the use of harmonised short codes is aimed at achieving uniformity in common short codes across networks.

This means that the code for checking airtime balance is the same across all mobile networks for the same function, irrespective of the network a consumer uses.

With the new codes, telecom consumers using the over 226 million active mobile lines in the country can now use the same codes to access services across the networks.

Already, the agency has set a deadline of May 17, 2023, for all mobile networks to fully migrate from hitherto diverse short codes to harmonised codes.

The period between now and May 17, 2023, is provided by the NCC to enable telecom consumers to familiarise themselves with the new codes for various services.

Under the new harmonised short codes regime, 13 common short codes have been approved by the NCC and include 300 for Call Centre/Help Desk on all mobile networks; 301 for voice Mail Deposit; 302 for Voice Mail Retrieval; 303 for Borrow Services; 305 for STOP Service; 310 for Check Balance, and 311 for Credit Recharge.

Also, the common code for Data Plan across networks is now 312. In line with the new direction, 321 is for Share Services, while 323 is for Data Plan Balance. The code 996 is now for Verification of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration/NIN-SIM Linkage.

The code 2442 is retained for Do-Not-Disturb (DND) unsolicited messaging complaint management, while the common code, 3232, is also retained for Porting Services, otherwise called Mobile Number Portability.

The old and new harmonised short codes will run concurrently up until May 17, 2023, when all networks are expected to have fully migrated to full implementation of the new codes.

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Bitfinex Lists CryptoGPT to Revolutionise Approach to AI

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CryptoGPT

By Adedapo Adesanya

Cryptocurrency exchange, Bitfinex, has listed the first-of-its-kind CryptoGPT token ($GPT) in what has been touted as a revolutionised approach to artificial intelligence (AI).

The CryptoGPT, a cryptocurrency token built on an Ethereum platform, is the first-of-its-kind multi-value gas token and has the necessary demand as fuel for network transactions. It is topped up with value funnels from validator staking, cash flow from core products, and power of fee treasury which can be deployed for liquidity events like buybacks, burns, and/or expanded yield.

In a statement, the company said CryptoGPT token would revolutionise the world of AI by decentralising the data industry and giving billions of users across the world, including Africa, full control of their own AI data and freedom to monetize such data as they live their daily lives, creating a sustainable income stream.

CryptoGPT is a dedicated layer-2 blockchain built to create trillion-dollar data and power the AI revolution. The blockchain hosts apps with 2+ million active users, placing it as one of the biggest blockchains at launch. This innovation uniquely merges blockchain technology with AI and offers an ecosystem that treats data like an asset class.

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) is bringing drastic changes in the technological fields around the world, where if implemented, it automates systems for more efficiency and performance.

From the comfort of a mobile phone and in multiple fields, AI is continuously providing high-performance and accurate system work with efficiency whilst playing an important role in helping humans work better without the help of humans. Since its inception, there is no doubt that the algorithm and success of AI is data-driven, and currently, many big tech companies and players like Meta, Google, and Amazon make billions and trillions of dollars by monetizing users’ AI data.

By creating an ecosystem that incentivizes users to earn crypto tokens and avoid constant inflation, CryptoGPT lets users capitalize on their data through its versatile $GPT token.

“No matter how much CryptoGPT ultimately decentralizes data, the $GPT token is a good investment because users can amass significant quantities of it by using the ecosystem’s apps and making referrals. This makes CryptoGPT the first sustainable ‘to earn’ ecosystem that pays users for contributing data that is then sold in the global data marketplace,” the company said.

CryptoGPT, unlike most participants in the AI boom, entered the marketplace with a compelling value proposition setting itself apart.

Currently, AI is used for different purposes and in different fields like virtual assistants or chats, healthcare agriculture, security and surveillance, logistics, shopping and fashion, agriculture, and farming. The CryptoGPT has an ecosystem of millions of daily app users with over 20+ apps in these fields as well as lifestyle, music, dating, travel, and gaming.

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Nigerian Fintechs Mull New Registry to Tackle Fraud

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fintechs

By Adedapo Adesanya

Financial technology (fintech) companies in Nigeria are reportedly working on a joint strategy that will help create a new registry to tackle fraudulent transactions within their networks.

A report from the publication revealed that three people familiar with the development said the registry had been stylised as Project Radar.

The registry, when public, would enable companies to pool details, including banking and government identity data, of individuals and groups that have attempted or made fraudulent transactions.

The report revealed that representatives of more than a dozen companies — including payments processor Flutterwave, digital banks Kuda and Branch, and savings app Cowrywise — joined a call on Monday (March 6), to come up with the move.

It was reported that the most vocal appeared to be Mr Olugbenga Agboola, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Africa’s most valuable startup, Flutterwave.

This could be tied to recent happenings around the company after news broke that Flutterwave was hacked for N2.9 billion ($6.3 million) in over 60 transactions in February.

Court documents showed the company filed a suit in Lagos against 16 commercial banks to freeze over 100 accounts suspected of receiving proceeds of the reported hack.

Business Post later reported that Flutterwave denied the hack, saying it observed an unusual trend of transactions on some users’ profiles, and it quickly took action.

The company said, “We want to confirm that no user lost any funds, and we take pride in the fact that our security measures were able to address the issue before any harm could be done to our users.

“Our commitment to keeping our users’ financial information safe and secure is why we invest heavily in security initiatives such as periodic audits, certifications, and licenses such as the PCI-DSS & ISO 27001. These are in line with global best practices in information security management.

“We want you to continue to trust us and feel secure using Flutterwave for your business needs. Our commitment is to enable your business growth while keeping your financial information safe and secure.”

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