Ayoba, the instant messaging app launched by MTN Group in April 2019, has partnered with AppsFlyer to become the largest digital platform in Africa.

AppsFlyer is a global mobile marketing and attribution platform. It has helped Jiji, a leading marketplace for classifieds in Africa, to increase its daily app installs by 214%. AppsFlyer is also working with telecom group, Vodacom, across key regions in Africa.

By signing up with AppsFlyer, Ayoba is pushing to become Africa largest digital platform. Ayoba will be using AppsFlyer's technology to improve its user acquisition efforts.

Ayoba is a "free instant messaging app, designed by Africans for Africans"; a "world-class messaging platform that reflects local needs and aspirations". And it intends to become a super app.

Tidbit: Ayoba is a made-up word that originated from the townships of South Africa where it’s used to express appreciation of good dancing. It is a slang for "cool", "alright", and "ok". During the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, MTN used Ayoba as a refrain in its ads. For instance, "We don't say 'ole', we say Ayoba!"

In addition to its chatting feature, Ayoba provides free in-app games — up to 44 games is currently available. It also has channels covering eight categories: news, sport, entertainment, health and fitness, fashion and beauty, education and music. One of the channels in the news category is Pulse News Nigeria with over 50,000 subscribers. The official Ayoba channel has 3.8 million subscribers.

Ayoba currently supports 22 languages across Africa and the Middle East. And Ayoba users can also listen to music within the app. Ayoba plans to add mobile money feature which will allow its users to receive and send money to their contacts across Africa.

In November 2019, eight months after it was launched, MTN reported that Ayoba reached one million monthly active users. Currently available only on Android, Ayoba has reached over two million monthly active users. Ayoba has been downloaded over 10 million times from Google Play Store as of October 2020.

Ayoba is currently available in nine countries, namely: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Africa.

According to Sensor Tower — a mobile app store marketing intelligence platform, in September 2020, Ayoba recorded 500,000 downloads worldwide. Its archrival WhatsApp, which was launched 10 years ago, recorded 39 million downloads worldwide during the same period.

ayoba, mtn instant messaging app - super app

In the statement released on Tuesday, AppsFlyer said its technology will help Ayoba to have a clearer understanding of its entire funnel of acquisition. And in the near future, AppsFlyer will enable more effective retargeting and re-engagement of Ayoba users. This new capability is essential for campaign optimization and driving organic long-term growth for Ayoba, AppsFlyer said.

"We now have a clearer understanding of where to focus our acquisition activities and be better positioned to take advantage of the opportunities that abound on the continent", Olivier Prentout, MTN's Chief Marketing Officer - OTT brands, said.

"The technology is new to many on our team but AppsFlyer has been there to make sure we get the maximum value out of this partnership. We look forward to working more closely with AppsFlyer as we continue on our mission to become the biggest digital platform in Africa".

It is important to note that Ayoba was originally developed by Progressive Tech Holdings Limited (PTH). And MTN Group acquired PTH in 2019 alongside its music-streaming apps such as MusicTime! and Simfy Africa. MusicTime! has agreement with major record labels and provides access to more than 42 million tracks. Unlike MusicTime, Simfy Africa service is not exclusive to only MTN customers.

"Understanding what acquisition channels work best is one of the keys to driving growth and user retention for apps. It helps to optimize marketing activity", Daniel Junowicz, Managing Director of AppsFlyer in LATAM and Africa, said.

"Ayoba is a unique and exciting app offering users access to a wide range of features and content. It’s great to be able to support their growth ambitions with our unparalleled mobile marketing analytics as Ayoba expands across Africa".

Earlier this month, AppsFlyer released its Performance Index which analysed more than 27 billion app installs. The Index revealed that Google Ads is the top choice for app marketers in Africa. According to the report, both Google and Facebook continued to dominate mobile advertising with a significant majority of the non-organic install market.

"The African app market represents a significant opportunity for people on the continent and beyond to drive new growth opportunities", Daniel said. "We are also excited to play our part in underpinning this with data and informed analysis that will make it easier for everyone to get the best results".