The first AfricaBeta event where technology experts and startups discussed the ideas shaping the future of mobile in Africa held on the 3rd of October. It was organized by and powered by WeChat.
The invite-only event was tagged Chat 3.0, and there, speakers and participants discussed chat applications, messaging and how those are increasingly moving beyond communication and into business and commerce.
Three speakers; leading figures in mobile internet and startups in Nigeria steered the conversation at the event. Adia Sowho, Head of Digital Media, Etisalat Nigeria, spoke about the telcos’ perspective on the state of messaging; Seyi Taylor, co-Founder Big Cabal media, publishers of TechCabal spoke on the integration of mobile into core aspects people's lives, and Etop Ikpe, co-MD at Dealdey discussed hyperlocal possibilities, peer-to-peer commerce and "social commerce".
In his session where he discussed the chain of transaction from customer interest to purchase, Etop said “[eCommerce stores] have to turn on the social aspect of your platform as the first step to monetization." This, according to him, will help stores monetize customers whose interests in purchase begin to ebb at the social level in the chain of purchase.
WeChat's regional director, Idemudia Dima-Okojie also gave an exposition on the workings on WeChat. According to him, "a lot of activities are going on in WeChat. It's not just messaging". Via official accounts, startups can run targeted brand engagement, run competitions, polls, facilitate location-based promotions, send push notification on new listing and more.
From the WeChat ideathon which received over 80 entries with 10 ideas making the finals, one finalist, Traclist, also demoed their integration into WeChat at the event. The Traclist integration allows users to buy directly from within WeChat using natural language text navigation.
The event was hosted by Lamide Akintobi, an award winning journalist and on air personality with over 250 people, including local and international press in attendance. The event ended with a raffle-draw where five attendees won five Samsung Galaxy Note Edge devices, courtesy of WeChat.
Pulse, Black House Media, 360 Nobs and Ynaija are media partners for the first AfricaBeta conference.