2go outshines Facebook in Nigeria

gailjadehamiltommob2go has gained nine million active users in Nigeria in just four years since its launch. (Image source: gailjadehamilton/Flickr)Nigerian social networking site 2go has been named as the country's leading mobile social network by an industry report that revealed the site had close to four million more subscribers than Facebook

The total number of Facebook users in Nigeria currently stands at 5.17mn, according to statistics available on www.socialbakers.com, while 2go has built a subscription base of nine million active users in just four years following its launch.

2go has been made available to users as a mobile app, which runs on all types of phones and offers a low-cost way of socialising with friends.

The company attributes the success of 2go to the fact that it could be accessed through both smartphones and non-smartphones while Facebook’s availability was strictly limited to smartphones.

According to 2go director Peter Lockhart, 2go’s success rested on the fact that it worked well on many handsets while Facebook’s reach was limited.

Recent market projections have also indicated that non-smart phones would continue to comprise 85 per cent of the African handset market in 2015.

Lockhart added that the company had initiated a research project in the Nigerian market that provided it with details about social networking site usage patterns in the country.

The research, which was based upon suggestions from 2go users, concluded, "About 31 per cent of Nigerian users don’t watch television, but 66 per cent of them spend two or more hours on their phones each day. It is a very sociable society, and 2go needs to support that sociability to gain popularity."

Lockhart added that the company aimed at balancing the focus on what 2go users wanted and technical expertise needed to deliver the experience across thousands of devices at very cheap prices.

“Data and SMS are expensive, and our users are price sensitive. We had to deliver an application that used minimum system resources and bandwidth and 2go incorporated both these aspects," Lockhart said.

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