Sembuse, east africa’s first mobile social network
Sembuse is a mobile application developed in Java that runs on mobile phones. It is a messaging and content platform that allows users to communicated more affordably as well as access varied content items directly on their mobile phones.Users can access and use Sembuse from anywhere in the world.
It allows users to communicate cheaply at 50 Kenya cents (USD 0.006) per message using the SMS (Sembuse Messaging Suite). With conventional text limited to 160 characters and an average cost of Ksh.3.50 (USD 0.043), Sembuse gives 1,000 characters per SMS at a fraction of the cost of conventional text, allowing unprecedented savings and value addition.
If a user wants to communicate with someone outside their network, they can do so using regular text messaging through Sembuse at a flat rate of Ksh.2.50 across any GSM network in Africa.
Sembuse supports internationalization by way of being available in different languages which currently are English, Swahili, German, French and Chinese. Sembuse allows users to invite their friends from all over the world into their network and has a myriad of exciting free and premium content offerings that add value to users as they are delivered directly to the user’s handset. These offerings include; customized news alerts, real time stock market alerts and news, rave crave – that gives users a snapshot of the nightlife in their location, the gossip channel – that allows users to submit and share gossip with their friends, the sports bar – where sports fans can keep up to date with the happenings in their favorite sports and a video section with mobisodes across a variety of channels.
Sembuse can be downloaded directly to a user’s handset by pointing the mobile phone browser to m.sembuse.com. Registration is FREE and one can immediately invite friends to their network and start saving money on their communication as it costs the same to send a Sembuse anywhere in the world! Riding off GPRS/3G it has an infinitely small data footprint. The latest plugin allows for use on handsets that do not support application downloads via the use of web-based interface. This means that everyone can use Sembuse.
Sembuse boasts of a proprietary hyper-targeting advertising platform – SembuseConnect that allows businesses, whether big brand names, small to medium sized enterprises and even individuals to connect with their target market directly on their handset, with the cost of customer reach and impression being the lowest in the market currently at 50 Kenya cents (USD 0.006).
An individual can book their ManenoAds (text adverts) and choose their desired target group on the Sembuse network from the ease and comfort of their mobile phone wherever they are. The advertisements are served immediately the order is confirmed.
Advertising agencies and large companies wishing to plug into SembuseConnect have access to an additional feature via a web based control panel where they can buy tags for their clients that have an appended rider (which can either be an advert, promotional message or any other message they wish to get across).These in-text adverts get served contextually based on the content of the message sent. As such the advert finds the reader in the right frame of mind where they are more receptive to the message as it is in context and has additional value.
Large companies also have the unique opportunity to “own” Sembuse by having their brands represented in the application’s icons, background and ringtone through various customized themes.
Robust reporting and metrics allow advertisers to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns. SembuseConnect can be used as a standalone media and advertising outlet or it can complement other traditional but more difficult to measure advertising channels.
As a content platform Sembuse allows content providers to make their inventory available on Sembuse and to set their pricing for their content items. Using content discovery tools, users on Sembuse can select and download their choice content. If the content is premium the amount is deducted from their account and a link to download the content is sent to their mobile phone. Sembuse has the ability to apply digital rights management to the content in its inventory.
Users of Sembuse pay for their credits, content and other services via Mpesa, Zap, other regional money transfer / payment mechanics and if in the diaspora by credit card. These payments are then processed by our proprietory Zunguka Payment Gateway.
With the tremendous growth that is being experienced in the mobile telecommunications sector in Africa, Sembuse will have a great impact on how users interact with each other and engage brands at a personal level and at affordable prices and in ways that can be measured.