NaijaPulse, Nigeria’s Version of Twitter

2009 February 23

naijapulse-logo

NaijaPulse is Africa’s first microblogging service just like twitter which lets users say what they’re doing, start or follow a discussion, share a link or news item, join or create groups. The service runs on the Laconica microblogging software, version 0.7.1.

The service lets you share short text updates about yourself and what is happening around you with friends, colleagues, family and fans. NaijaPulse lets you say ‘Wetin Dey Happen’ (which is a pidgin phrase for ‘What’s Happenning?’).

What are the features?
Unlike Twitter, the site allows you to create groups, features users and has a link for popular posts. If you favour a post, it will be featured as a POPULAR on the right sidebar. You can also tag a word by preceding it with the hashtag (#). For example, tagging startupafrica will be #startupafrica.

You can link your NaijaPulse account to your Twitter account, After linking, all your ‘pulses’ are automatically published at Twitter as well. You can use the ‘connect’ tab on your NaijaPulse account profile and provide the login data to your twitter account so that your updates are posted automatically. But, wouldn’t NaijaPulse have access to your twitter account? I doubt, since the login details are sent directly through the server, so no one can have access to your information.

NaijaPulse also allows you to send direct messages to other naijapulse users, as long as both of you are subscribed to the RSS feeds of each other. You can also connect to your Twitter account and Facebook account.

naijapulse

What is unique?

NaijaPulse supports OpenMicroBlogging 0.1., a protocol that lets users of one microblogging service subscribe to updates by users of another service. What this means is that, if you use any other microblogging service such as Twitter, you subscribe to pulses from another user on NaijaPulse.

Thus, if you have an account on a remote site that supports OpenMicroBlogging, and you want to subscribe to the pulses of a user on NaijaPulse, you can click on the “Subscribe” link under their avatar on their profile page. This should take you to the remote subscription page, where you enter your profile URL on the other microblogging service.

You’ll be taken to your microblogging service, where you’ll be asked to confirm the subscription. When you confirm, your service will receive new notifications from the user on NaijaPulse, and your service will forward them to you (using IM, SMS, the Web, or whatever else).

My Opinion

I like the idea of the site, but I’m concerned if the site would develop to become a useful tool for business just like Twitter has become for most companies around the world.

Obviously, Nigerian web addicts are already using Twitter and soon, my guess is that businesses will be using microblogging services like NaijaPulse. However, for this to happen, NaijaPulse must generate a lot of buzz about their service in order to experience a significant growth, and thus position itself as a useful business tool for interacting with customers and clients.

I’m yet to see if NaijaPulse would make a huge impression in the African continent, since the site’s concept seems too niched and tends to focus on the Nigerian online community. Besides, the name (definitely not pan-African) doesn’t suggest that the site would capture the African social media space just like sites like South African-based start-ups, Afrigator and Muti have attracted a lot of attention from the African blogging community.

Perhaps the site would have been called AfriTwit or so in order to attract the entire African microblogging community? Even if it looks and feels pan-African, it will still need to have multiple language preferences like French and Arabic.

What are your thoughts?

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