2Go is one of the few extremely successful projects that originated in Africa. The platform which came into being in 2007, grew extremely fast under a pretty short period. A lot of us know the platform, but not so many of us understand the story behind the success of the platform. But that does not have to be, and we feel it would be worthwhile educating the public more about this platform, and this is what we would be doing with this article. 2go’s website is www.2go.im not www.2go.com.
What is 2Go?
2Go is a communication system that showed up in the days when feature phones reigned in Africa. It enables people to communicate at very affordable prices. Back in the days when the app reigned, calls and SMS, which were the major ways of communicating, were quite expensive. So the introduction of 2Go enabled people to communicate with very little resource.
Where and how did it originate?
2Go originated in South Africa — to be a little more elaborate, the app originated in Johannesburg, although the company behind the product is now currently located in Cape Town. The app which we know to be a communication tool did not start out as a communication application. Rather than starting out as a communication application, the app started out as a timetable application.
The whole thing began when two students of the University of the Witwatersrand felt the need to solve a problem they were facing on campus. These students, Alan Wolff and Ashley Peter, who also happen to love creating things, often found it challenging knowing what class to attend next. The problem was so serious that they felt the need to do something about it, and they did.
These two guys created an app to solve the problem, then later felt it would be cool adding a chat feature to the app. But funny enough, the chat feature saw more usage than the timetable feature, and this is actually what gave rise to the 2Go we know today.
2Go which was initially meant to be an app for students of the University of the Witwatersrand, spread very fast to other schools. And before knowing it, it got into other African countries like Nigeria and Kenya. In fact, Nigeria ended up happening to account for a very large percentage of the app’s users. Nigerian users of the platform were mostly students of Nigerian secondary schools and tertiary institutions.
Why was the platform so successful?
According to the users, 2Go turned out to be an extremely successful app because it provided these students a way to communicate with one another, without seeing physically. Back then communicating over the phone was possible, but it was quite expensive, so 2Go provided a more affordable approach.
Also, it is worthwhile stating that one of the ways in which the creators of this apps were able to drive down the cost of this app, is by adopting some incredible compression algorithms. In addition, they claimed that understanding their users greatly contributed to the success of the app.
2Go was initially meant to be an app for feature phones, but as technology in these country advanced, the creators of the app created apps for other platforms. For instance, the Android version of the app showed up in 2013. And we also saw the introduction of the Blackberry version.
Using the app
Using the 2Go app is quite simple and straightforward. Simply head over to the company’s website: www.2go.im, and download the latest version for your phone. For Android users, the app is available on Playstore, so you can download it directly from the Google Playstore.
After downloading and installing the app, open it. You would be presented a sign in interface, where you can sign in, if you already have an account. If you happen not to have an account, you can create one. After creating your account, you can sign in, and you would be presented with the chat interface.
2Go has got a feature called chat rooms. Chat rooms enable users to chat with people they do not know physically. In the chat room, you can chat with people from other schools. Also, chats rooms can be great fun, and this is one of the most interesting things about the app.
As stated above, 2Go is one of the most successful techs to have ever originated in Africa. At a point, this app had more active users than Facebook. The app usage has significantly declined, compared to the period it reigned, but it is nevertheless an interesting success story. At some point, the founders of this app were compared to the creators of Google.
2Go reigned during the period when feature phones reigned. Just in case you do not understand what feature phones are, feature phones are phones like Java phones and Symbian phones. Developing an app like 2Go for this kind of phones is quite difficult, but the 2Go team was able to pull it off, anyway.
Feature phones are going extinct. And most people who use them today, use them as their second phones. That is, they only use these phones to make and receive call. Knowing this, it is quite safe to say that 2Go would be dying sooner or later.
But how does 2Go makes its money? Well, 2Go has something called GoCredits. With GoCredits, you are able to do things regular users are not able to do, and this is one of the ways the company makes money. Buying of GoCredits could be done with airtime. You recharge your line, and simply send an SMS to a number.
2Go also makes money from advertisements. During the time the app reigned, it was not unusual to see companies like GoTv advertising on the app. It is unclear how much these guys were able to make from advertisement, but it seems they were able to make a serious amount of money from advertising.
How to Download & Install 2go Latest Version
To download the latest version of 2go, simply visit m.2go.im on your smartphone, click on download now, once it finishes downloading, install it and open it. Fill in the details required for registration and start chatting!
Go to the Google Play Store, search for 2go, download and install the 2go Android app from there and register to start chatting.
Get a friend that has the 2go APK file and ask them to send it to you via Bluetooth or Xender and then install it once you receive it and start chatting.
Steve Edegbo is the team lead at Naijatechhub.com. Naijatechhub is a team of writers and researchers dedicated to providing the best up to date information on topics in Nigeria. If you need more information, kindly contact us.