2go was bigger than Facebook in Nigeria with over 12 million users from Nigeria while Facebook had 6.5 Million users in 2012 – Apps africa
It was the hottest app, everyone was using it, if you were not on 2go you were not a cool kid, I got my first feature phone (java phone) around 2008, and was instantly addicted to the app.
The funny part was I didn’t even create a new account, I bought a used phone, when I opened the 2go app, I found the previous owners account and just started using it. Looking at the craze that surrounded the 2go app back then, it could have been the first African owned successful social network, well. It was for five years, but after that it became a child’s app
Everyone says WhatsApp killed 2go, what they don’t know is that WhatsApp actually launched two years
after 2go launched
, and 2go reigned three more years while WhatsApp watched . WhatsApp only became the goto app in Africa after Android became popular in Africa, 2go failed to evolve, they just ported their featured phone (java phone) app into an Android shell and launched
2go then they failed to include media, WhatsApp allowed people to share photos, allowed people to create groups for free unlike 2go rooms which you have no control over and you still have to buy gocredit to access
It took a while, but then everyone made a switch
The thing about social networking is we need each other for a community to thrive, if all my friends are on WhatsApp I got to be on WhatsApp to connect with them, when I log into 2go and find nobody I’ll leave, check them out on WhatsApp, after a while I stopped checking 2go, after a while I uninstalled the app
This is the same reason Telegram is not the default messaging app in Africa, people are used to WhatsApp, all our friends and family are on WhatsApp, bro you’ve got to give us free internet access for us to switch over, no kidding.
2go refused to pivot also, WhatsApp now has status, because without that people won’t access the app unless they have messages, they want to keep you engaged, they want to give you a reason to open the app even when you haven’t received a message notification. If only 2go had added a user feed, or a media status like that of WhatsApp, maybe it would have been a different story.
Would have made me feel good that my brothers from SA made a really popular social app.
Today all of Africa’s social spaces are controlled by the western world, they know everything about us, even more than our government does. Yes, Facebook knows where you are now, your government doesn’t even know where you currently live, they have no recent photo of you.
2go is that great fallen Iroko tree.