Econet Wireless International launched a very ambitious project called SASAI, a product that we spoke about in-depth, and I gave my analysis of the product, especially on the functionality, and why I think its a great innovation, which however still needs to be polished.
Today I’m moving away from the product and looking into the idea itself.
Today Sasai has a total of 50 000 plus downloads on Play Store.
Here is why I think SASAI won’t be a hit and what needs to be done now.
To begin with, Sasai has already made it to my list of the least used applications on my phone, and that’s not a good thing and here are the major two reasons.
I don’t need to use Sasai to communicate with someone that I have always been talking to on Whatsapp. There is absolutely no reason to do so. If Sasai is going to be another social media application, they need to give me better reasons to do so.
There are people I talk to on WhatsApp, and some I only converse publicly with on twitter, then those moments I need my snap chat privately, and when I feel good, I show off on Instagram.
Simply said there is a place for every application and yes I use all these applications for specific purposes because they are designed that way and as we always say if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
The second reason why Sasai is not one of my most used applications is a bit weaker, of course, it is stronger everywhere else but the thing is I don’t have my people there!
When I joined Sasai I had less than 2 people on the platform, now I can confirm that 60 of my contacts are on the platform, that’s a huge jump, Econet has to seriously leverage on this and will speak on how they can, later on.
What really made Facebook more popular in Zimbabwe and ofcourse worldwide was the fact that people appreciated that they had more people finally coming to the platform, and they could relate.
I can confirm that I was one of the few people who had more than a year, with absolutely no-one I knew personally but digital communities nd open chat rooms, that was fine for me, as chat rooms back then were a big thing, don’t know today.
Social platforms are huge and stronger because of how many more other friends of yours are already there, if they are not there, its a piece of technology that’s cute, but does you no beauty.
This is exactly how the best social media platform in the world has suffered!
Yes, the best social media and the messaging platform is Telegram! Im not debating about this, it has all the features anyone needs, it’s smart, safe and super cool on features as a product but why is not so popular.
Strangely almost everyone on Zimbabwe was now using telegram when the government banned Whatsapp, yes I had close to 8% of my chats on Telegram when data was fully restored, all my chaps left telegram except some few and once again, telegram was deserted.
Sasai risks suffering same effects, they are yet to get the Telegram features on their application, they disappointed in getting the snap chat effect for teens and of course, they missed on the shake for nearby features!
These alone are features they could have integrated to make the product a darling, then force the users to stick on it, as were all in one application to experiment with other features.
With all these issues mentioned, Sasai will not overtake Whatsapp if they maintain the same strategy. Wether in Zimbabwe or internationally, something drastic and dynamic has to happen and this has to happen now while we are still talking about Sasai
They have the biggest advantage of the platform as a service but they are only working on the application as a service. Why are they not yet leveraging the platform?
Sasai has serious strong financial features, we all need those, but we are not using them, how are they being delivered to us and are we cognizant of the features.
The remittance addition, for example, is a super killer. But have we started receiving money on Sasai yet, have we tried this platform to at least test functionality and gain familiarisation so that we recommend it to friends and relatives abroad or locally?
These are missing links to a key product !
What else motivates me to hit the Sasai icon on my phone, the application is quite passive with fewer friends on it, something else has to be going on, I need to have a reason to tap that app at least every hour and then are many more.
Sasai as a product is good, not far from great, its vision is to conquer Africa and the world, the pace of that implementation has to have much speed and precision, but that is not happening yet.
Whatsapp is their major competitor, with a billion-plus market on user base.