Google announces Afrinolly mobile application

Google, last month, during Google‘s Kenya conference (called G-Kenya), announced the winners of its 1st Android Developers Challenge for Sub-Saharan Africa. Afrinolly, a Nigerian-developed mobile application, was the winner of the Entertainment/Games/Media category. The award came with a $25,000 cash prize.

Afrinolly was developed by Nigerian digital marketing agency Fans Connect Online, Afrinolly is a mobile application that allows users to stream African entertainment bundles. Users can access African movie trailers, music videos, online comedy, celebrity gist and gossip, the latest entertainment news and other content. The app also has a Blackberry version and can be downloaded for free at www.afrinolly.com or in the Android Market.

I recently interviewed Chike Maduegbuna, the CEO of Fans Connect Online and the mastermind behind the Afrinolly App.

You’re the CEO of Fans Connect Online, a leading digital marketing firm. What does Fans Connect Online do?

Fans Connect Online is a digital marketing, social media and mobile app development company. We focus on creating platforms around the passion points of youths (15 – 40years) that will enable big brands to reach and engage them. We provide cost-effective technology solutions that compliment traditional marketing activities. The company is 18 months old and we have a multi-disciplinary team of 9 staff. We have worked for a few blue-chip companies including MTN, Cadbury, Friesland Campina WAMCO and Samsung.

Take us behind the scenes with a few little known anecdotes on the creation of Afrinolly. How and when did it all begin?

We came across this idea in May 2011 at G-Nigeria in Lagos. Two members of our team participated in the Google’s 2-day event in Nigeria. When they came back to the office to debrief our core team on their observations at G-Nigeria, one thing stood out. Anieto Okonkwo of Google charged the participants to pay attention to African entertainment (especially Nollywood) and develop a product that will be relevant for such a growing industry. That inspired us to build Afrinolly.

You launched Afrinolly only in August 2011; a month later it won Google’s 1st Android Developers Challenge for Sub-Saharan Africa. How does that make you feel?

Actually, we had set out to build Afrinolly for the competition. But the more we deliberated on the idea and the potentials therein, we became convinced that this is a product. From that point, we forgot about the competition and focused on building a globally accepted product. We wanted Afrinolly to be an app with global appeal as more people are enthralled with Nollywood and African entertainment industry.

Our plan A then became: if we win, we will leverage on that to publicize Afrinolly and tap into the Google network. So when we qualified as one of the finalists, we quickly used that opportunity to conduct a pre-launch media parley in August 2011. Plan B was to carry-on and launch Afrinolly even if we fail to win the competition.

We couldn’t afford to travel to Kenya and attend the result announcement ceremony but we were anxiously monitoring the event via twitter. Then we got a phone call from Emeka Afigbo, Google Nigeria’s Outreach Program Manager, that WE WON! It was a glorious moment for all our team members. We screamed, hugged, danced and quickly contacted the rest of our team members who were outside the office.

The Afrinolly App is available for free. What’s your business model? Do you monetize the App in any way?

We now have Afrinolly in Android, BlackBerry and Symbian versions. Our primary objective is to give as many people as possible opportunity to download and use Afrinolly. We are also engaging the major stakeholders in the industry. Thereafter we will collectively adopt an equitable monetization scheme

What’s brewing in the lab? What new tech utilities or mobile solutions are you developing for the future?

Like I said earlier, we focus on creating platforms around the passion points of youths (15 – 40years) that will enable big brands reach and engage them. We have done football, location-finder, movie, music and comedy. We are currently working on career, news updates and games.

Check out Afrinolly at Afrinolly.com

Source: Forbes.Com

It sounds like a great idea. Grab ya Afrinolly now! I’ll be downloading the app for blackberry and seeing how it goes.

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Comments

  1. Sanjahoney says:

    i just downloaded this app…it will get better i hope, but it gives me the info i need to know…thanks for enlightening us NollyForever

    • Nollywood says:

      @Sanjahoney that is great to hear… I have been here pimping out the app and not even yet downloaded it. SHAME ON ME!!!

  2. ellie1912 says:

    I too downloaded this app; but, I find it confusing to use.

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