Moya Messenger - Zero-rated WhatsApp rival launched in South Africa

Moya Messenger - Zero-rated WhatsApp rival launched in South Africa

A new, South African-developed rival to WhatsApp, which offers zero-rated data access on South Africa’s four largest mobile operators, has been launched. Called Moya Messenger, the app, which was developed by a company called biNu, works even when users have no airtime or data on their smartphones. Moya Messenger was built using “proven, industry standard open-source messaging technology and adapted” for zero-rated data

This is something we really need. A messenger that is usable by the poorest of the poor and other pre-paid users where their data runs out but they still need to communicate. Although the zero rating is unique to South African networks I can see something like this taking off in 3rd world and developing countries. It could counter some of WhatsApp's steamroller effect over other instant messaging networks and create more balance.

Some catches though:
* It does not have all the bells and whistles of WhatsApp, Telegram, etc (yet)
* Only text messaging / group chat is zero-rated, and videos, photos and media files will use or work with normal paid data or when connected to WiFi. Before sending you will be warned you need mobile data or WiFi.
* It is funded through video advertising but the benefit is more than a free app/service, it is also free data for texting (the ads don't use paid data)
* It is Android only for now (let's hope iOS still follows) because the receiver may be an iOS user
* Users will need a South African SIM card from one of the 4 participating networks (MTN, Vodacom, Cell C or Telkom)

See or Moya's website at or install the Android app from

#datafree #moyamessenger

Zero-rated WhatsApp rival launched in South Africa - TechCentral

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