African chat app ‘ayoba’ promises full privacy and security amid WhatsApp backlash

Ayoba, the African messaging app owned by MTN, has reiterated its focus on protecting their users’ privacy and security amid immense backlash surrounding Facebook-owned WhatsApp.

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Ayoba has promised users full privacy and security amid immense backlash surrounding Facebook-owned WhatsApp, which has now delayed new mandatory terms which compel users to agree to share their data.

“In the past few days, the global community has spoken, and it’s clear that these are critical issues. Across the world, users have taken to social media to express their opinions, and ayoba is listening,” the company said in a statement.

Hardly a year into existence, Ayoba has reassured its users that it’s not possible for messages in the app to be read by anyone, or shared to any third parties. The app features peer-to-peer private messaging which are end-to-end encrypted.

A user’s contacts and location are only available to other users if explicitly shared by the account owner. Users can feel confident that their private data will remain private, and is treated with the utmost care and respect by ayoba via our Privacy Policy.

MTN launched its own instant messaging platform, Ayoba, in March 2019.

Family Friendly

Ayoba also points out a unique feature of their app. ‘All the content is curated,’ says Interim CEO Richard Cimardi. ‘We have a team of editors who check every post on our content channels before it goes live. This includes our music and entertainment channels. So it’s 100% family friendly and safe for our younger users’.

Another unique feature is its availability in 22 languages : English, isiXhosa, isiZulu, French, Arabic, Dari, Pashtu, Hausa, Afrikaans, Igbo, Jula, Kinyarwanda, Luganda, Pidin [Cameroon], Pidgin [Nigeria], Portguese, Sesotho, Setswana, Swahili, Twi, and Yoruba. Content channels are predominantly English and French, but the app offers content across all the languages as well, in Dari, Pashto, isiZulu, isiXhosa and more.

Ayoba has recently launched an in-app assistant, Aya, to guide new users on how to use an instant messaging app. Aya appears automatically in everyone’s Chats and can run a variety of interactive tutorials for key features within ayoba.

Free data for MTN Users

In partnership with MTN, subscribers to the award winning telecommunications company ar3 automatically allocated free data to use ayoba features. Allowances range from 50MB daily to unlimited usage, depending on the country (with the exception of Benin).  Free data allocations can be used for all activities available in the app – including messaging, browsing, gaming and listening to music.

Interactive features

Ayoba was awarded the Africa Digital Award for Best Mobile Application in November 2020, in a voting process involving both industry judges and the public. The app offers Group Chat, Status updates, MicroApps and over 100 content channels bringing news, fashion, beauty, sports, education and music listening to the users. Ayoba has also an extensive game selection of more than 120 games currently available.

Ayoba is looking forward to a busy 2021, upgrading the already extensive list of features – including exciting new content in Channels and local MicroApps from across Africa, and also introducing new functionality, including in-app VoIP voice and video calls. 

10 Reasons to use ayoba:

  1. Free to use: ayoba is free to use. You need data to send messages and files to your contacts, but if you are on the MTN network, you will get free data every day to use the app. 
  2. Chat now: Instantly send and receive text and voice messages with any of your contacts.
  3. Secure: End-to-end encryption means that messages in a conversation cannot be read by anyone else.
  4. Quick connect: Use your existing address book to quickly and easily connect you with your contacts.
  5. Chat with everyone: Send SMS text messages with anyone in your contact list, regardless of whether they’ve installed ayoba or not. If the friend you send to does not have the app, the message will be delivered by SMS. They can respond by SMS and it will come back into your app.  This is a unique technology.
  6. Group chat: The more the merrier! Set up group chats to easily communicate with friends and family in a single chat.
  7. Sharing is caring: Share videos, images, audio, and other files with your contacts.
  8. Let’s Meet: Share your real-time location with your ayoba contacts.
  9. Channels: Users can consume all content across various categories ranging from news, sports, music to entertainment and much more, all within the ayoba app. We have over 30 content channels live in Nigeria including Pulse [for entertainment], and the MTN YelloStar competition.
  10. Listen and play: The app offers free music service in the app so you can listen to trending songs in our fantastic playlists. We have games that you can play as well, such as BattleShip, Pinball, Solitaire and more. New content is added every day. – APO Group