BBM Messenger Driving Instant Messenger Growth in Nigeria
Youth market dominate growth statistics
The United Nations predicts that by 2050, Africa will have the largest population globally. With 15,5 million smartphone users in Nigeria, the market is burgeoning with growth opportunities, particularly in the youth segment.
Creative Media Works, operating as BBM Messenger, recently hosted its first Digital and Mobile Innovation information session in Nigeria. Well attended by mobile marketing players in the industry, delegates were eager to understand and learn more about BBM Messenger’s mobile ecosystem and the power of Instant Messaging (IM).
Youth segment: innovators and trend drivers
Feyl Olubodun, managing director of Insights Publicis, shared powerful perspectives on the next stage in the digital and mobile space in Nigeria. Olubodun said that the trend is an exciting one given that Africa will soon have the largest youth demographic globally.
“The youth market is not only the larger sector, but they’re also innovators and trend drivers,” Olubodun said. The prominence of social media is a good example. “The majority of social media users globally are millennial, and it’s no different in Nigeria. In reality, by 2025, the youth segment will make up 75% of the African workforce and they will have considerable purchasing power.”
The power of sharing
Adam Pattison, vice president for the Americas and EMEA at BBM Messenger, commented that there is a growing amount of content sharing, which happens within the IM environment. It is a fact that sharers are among a brands most valuable customers when it comes to sales conversion, and research has shown that 85% of sharing happens outside of traditional social networks and within Chat, SMS and email. However, almost 90% of social marketing budgets are spent within traditional social networks.
“There is a disconnect here that needs to change. IMs have also surpassed social media networks from a monthly active user’s perspective. It’s not uncommon that a user has three or more messaging apps, which are all used for different reasons,” said Pattison.
He added that leveraging brands within a community that already exists – such as BBM Messenger – instead of trying to build communities around standalone apps, brings better value. “The success rate for a new app install campaign is very low, so it makes more sense that brands leverage IM to market to, and engage with consumers. That is exactly what we are doing within BBM Messenger with global brands such as Uber and HotelsCombined and in Nigeria with Ariiyatickets, Interswitch and Nairabox.”
Nigeria is a key market for BBM Messenger. Charles Ifedi, deputy CEO of the Interswitch Group elaborated on the integration partnership between BBM Messenger and its payment gateway, Quickteller. Key drivers for the integration included enabling customers to share airtime and funds while chatting, performing all Quickteller transactions from within BBM Messenger, and creating a checkout that enables service providers to deploy services from within BBM Messenger.
“Digitisation means that payments should become invisible. The adoption of API’s would be key in order to successfully collaborate. These self-service utilities could also create opportunities for Augmented Reality experiences. It also opens the door to disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and block chain,” Ifedi said.
The IM environment can definitely unlock value for entrepreneurs according to Elsie Oluku, CRO of Ariiyatickets. “Since our partnership with BBM Messenger in July 2017, Ariiyatickets have unlocked many new business offerings, which is really what you get when utilising API’s and the power of collaboration.”
Mobi Hunter’s co-founder and CEO, Timothy Lambrechts reinforced the company’s commitment to the Nigerian market. The business has been in Nigeria for over three years and is the official publishing partner for BBM Messenger across Africa. “New markets opening up for Mobi Hunter include West Africa and Dubai, and from the tech perspective, there’s a strong drive towards programmatic buying and data initiatives. More than ever, BBM and Mobi Hunter are open for collaboration and innovation within the IM space.”
At the session, BBM also unveiled latest research data on Nigeria. The research outlined that the average Nigerian user spends approximately 30 minutes a day on IMs and BBM Messenger is ranked as one of the top three most used IMs in Nigeria. BBM Messenger users show a high affinity towards messaging, channel engagement and voice calls.
As Pattison sums it, “BBM offers a wide range of opportunities for brands to reach an active youth segment – via Bots, the BBM Messenger API, and various media advertising options, which attract some of the highest engagement rates in the market.”