According to Matthew Talbot, a Senior Vice President – Emerging Solutions at BlackBerry, Africa is clearly a mobile-first market, with the majority of people accessing the internet from mobile rather than desktop devices. We’re also seeing many people coming online for the first time in recent years, so BBM has seen quite a bit of growth.
Today, we have over 22 million registered customers in Africa, so it continues to be a strong market for us. Nigeria and South Africa are our two top markets in Africa (as I blogged about earlier this year here andhere), and we continue to see strength in our user base across Android, iOS, BlackBerry 10 and BBOS. On iOS and Android, we see over half a million new users install BBM every single month. That growth rate continues to accelerate as network effects take root in several markets across the continent.
With close to 10 million visits to the BBM Shop per month, and now over 26 million ad requests per day, Africa is also now starting to become a key market for rolling out our monetization strategy. We have recently put our first ad sales representative on the ground, and I’m confident there will be more to follow.
In Africa, the BBM Shop gets over 20 million views each month and has tallied 60 million total stickers sent and received. The Shop features more than 25 sticker packs tailored to the African market, like Naija Slang. This focus on local and relevant content helps drive the high numbers.