Social Network Service
Media Release – September 2017
For friends, for family, for business, for Africa
Chomi Social Network Service
Social network platforms are a normal part of our daily communication and interaction, social outreach and even serve as a business enabler. Anyone who uses indigenous African languages on these prolific networks has experienced the frustration of uninvited autocorrect on text due to interfaces that simply do not cater for these indigenous languages
In comes Chomi, a proudly African social networking and communication service for friends and family, as well as businesses and organizations, that is not only affordable but provides users the ability to engage in all official South African languages, namely, change the interface, not just own text, from IsiZulu to Sepedi or English. No more uninvited autocorrect. This is unique to Chomi and empowers users to use languages of their choice.
By supporting the indigenous African languages, Chomi helps to contribute towards diversity in any country. The service has been developed locally and aims to contribute towards growing the economy of the country and that of the African continent by providing affordable access to information and communication.
Organizations and businesses are able to distribute content that is tailor-made for each platform, and also receive communications from their page followers in the language of their choice from any kind of cellphone, helping to break down language and technological barriers between organizations and their customers, and empowers organizations to interact with their customers in the users’ preferred languages via any cellphone
Chomi is offered via three different platforms that are linked to each other to enable cross-platform interaction and communication. The platforms are an app version, a mobi-site and a USSD application that make the service accessible to everyone via any type of cellphone, i.e. smartphones, feature phones and basic phones.
It is a multi-functional service that combines different features such as social networking, instant chatting, and the photo-fun and #hashtag sections. Social networking encompasses posting, reading and interacting with content through text, pictures and videos; instant chatting allows users and groups to communicate instantly with each other; the photo-fun section allows viewing and posting of pictures on a public page; the # hashtag section is where users are able to post, follow and contribute towards topical issues prefixed by a hashtag, e.g. #FeesMustFall.
The platforms offer information and communication based on their technological capabilities, and so USSD users can only use text, while the app and the mobi caters for text, pictures and video.
Chomi offers a safe environment in that content on the open pages is moderated. Users are empowered to hide or report posts they find offensive or hateful and block users.
Affordable and accessible
Accessing and using Chomi is cost-effective because there are several packages on offer with data usage and USSD session costs zero-rated. These discounted packages are initially only available at Vodacom, while MTN, Cell C and Telkom users pay normal data charges to their respective networks. Users can save on data costs by accessing the text-only version of Chomi.
Other African and global languages will be added to the platforms in the future as the market expands into other regions.
More tools are being developed and added to Chomi pages to empower businesses and organizations to improve interaction with their customers and followers, including application forms, events calendar, survey tools, etc. Other capabilities such as video streaming, VoIP, etc. are also being researched and will be added.
A new ad-funded USSD model is being introduced in the near future, which would mean that Vodacom USSD users would not pay access fees if they have insufficient funds, and instead would be served advertising. Affordable access to information and communication makes a large contribution towards the upliftment of any society and economy.
How to access Chomi: Users are able to access Chomi through various platforms including:
Google Play Store, Apple iTunes and Tizen Store for certain Samsung phones, as well as MTN App Store and Vodacom App Store;
www.chomi.mobi for the full mobi version for smartphones;
www.chomi.africa for the full mobi version for smartphones;
www.chomi.chat for the mobi version suitable for feature phones;
www.text.chomi.mobi for the text-only mobi version;
Dialing *170*24664# or *136*24664# for Vodacom and MTN respectively for Chomi USSD.
For more information contact: