Africa’s response to Facebook?

Contributor: Tech Mistress is not a so young ‘eccentric’, tech loving lady. She likes to share information in funny and witty ways, to inform but yet motivate. You can follow her on twitter – @AbiikeBlogger, and check out her blog – Mumuocrats.

The name Mark Zuckerberg is so popular among nerds and billionaire wannabes because of his creation or co-creation of Facebook, the most popular social networking site in the world today. [We seem to sometimes forget he is just a co-founder with the others, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes].

Facebook is said to be the most successful social networking site ever with an estimated 845 million active users around the world, an estimated revenue of 3.71 billion dollars and over 2000 employees in 15 countries. Besides Facebook, there are other sites like hi5, MySpace, Perfspot, but I have come to see Facebook waxing stronger with its 5 billion IPO in the market and revenue from advertising.

Impressive! Don’t you think? All these bring me back here to Africa to write about our own social network which I feel should have a cult following because of what it has to offer.

Afroterminal is a social networking site by Africans for Africans residing in Africa and in the diaspora. Owned by two Nigerians, Chioma Anyanwu and Charles Akpom, the site is a single platform for africans to connect, share news and information regarding basically anything, to discuss ideas and build virtual and personal relationships. Like most start ups nowadays, the duo raised funds from family and friends to help build their dream.  The features of Afroterminal include forums, online groups, live chat rooms, classified section, e-commerce marketplace, blogs, video share.

The site boasts of members from 50 African countries and 124 countries around the world, an average of 40,000 members and growing. It can also be integrated with other networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to share updates after it was redesigned and re launched in 2011.

I stumbled on the site by chance and I was impressed, partially because I was able to register using my mobile without any fuss. This is a big plus because most social networking site do not allow registering via your mobile. The registration and confirmation email took under ten minutes to complete. The interface is user friendly and easy to navigate. The numbers are unimpressive right now compared to that of the almighty Facebook, but with time it could get there (or die trying).

Do we need such a (social) networking site for Africans? Absolutely. It is so better than sifting through a site made for the whole world, but then again, that’s my opinion.  I think it is worth checking out. You can visit the site here.


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