Friday, May 25, 2012

Africa’s Fastest Social Networking Site Targets 20 Million Users in 2012

Africa’s Fastest Social Networking Site Targets 20 Million Users in 2012

The name Yookos stands for "You Own Your Cosmos" and it is the fastest growing social networking site in Africa developed and owned by Africans and has already attracted over 8 million users within a year. Yookos has a special focus on Africans and blacks in the Diaspora to provide a cosmopolitan hub for them on the internet and without the irrelevant junk found on the most popular Western social networking sites where pornography and antisocial trivialities have corrupted the users and polluted cyberspace.

The CEO Mr. Tomisin Fashina granted Nigerians Report a very revealing interview on Yookos drive to have 20 million users before the end of 2012.

Mr. Tomisin Fashina

NR. What makes Yookos different from Facebook, Twitter and other popular Western social networking sites?

TF: I think the big difference lies in the fact that we’re values-based. What that means is that we’re looking to reflect uniquely African values which sometimes get overlooked or diluted on other platforms and networks. Another big difference is the fact that we really try and promote discussions and conversations: people talking to each other, rather than at each other.

NR. How do you intend to make Yookos more attractive to Africans and others who are already hooked on Facebook and Twitter?

TF: For me, the real impact of Yookos lies at the level of connecting people and communities. The old cliché about it being a small world has never been truer, and suddenly we’re finding that social media is helping us create vast new communities of like-minded people, and give them a sense of belonging to something bigger. It’s also about conversations, and getting people talking about issues and things that mean something to them.

NR. Having 8 million users within 12 months is unprecedented for a made in Africa social networking site, and now you are targeting 20 million users before end of 2012. How are you going to achieve that?

TF: We think our rapid growth highlights the fact that the Africa social media market is ripe for a new entrant – and we think our secret weapon lies in providing local relevance to tell truly African stories. We also feel that Yookos has a vital role to play in breaking digital barriers by connecting the social media-savvy diaspora with family and friends back home.

NR. You have an impressive resume with years of international professional experience and expertise in IT and banking before taking up the enormous challenge of being the CEO of Yookos. Why are you doing this?

TF: The thought of being part of something that can make a real and lasting difference in the lives of millions of Africans excites me hugely! In the long run, our emphasis is on social development. Our biggest challenge in the continent is illiteracy, and we’ll be looking to find ways to be part of the solution. We care about Africa and uplifting the people, whether that’s through giving students access to educational materials or putting families in contact with their loved ones on the other side of the world. These are the challenges that I relish!

NR. How far can Yookos go against your local and global competitors?

TF: We have great – and I think realistic - ambitions for Yookos to be the number one social media platform on the continent. More broadly, I think we can realistically look forward to a medium term scenario where we co-exist comfortably with more-established players in a social media universe. Ultimately, we hope to be the African choice, and we like to think that’s because we offer something different to the other players.

NR. How is Yookos funded and will you sell Yookos if you get tempting offers, like an offer from Google or Facebook as they do to buyout their competitions?

TF: Yookos is currently a privately-funded company, which is generating a range of diverse income streams as we grow. Our long-term plans are to remain independent, so a buyout is not on the cards at all. If anything, we may consider a listing at some point in the future, but that’s still some distance off.

NR. What innovations should we expect to see on Yookos before the end of the year?

TF: We’re constantly working on refreshing our look, the range of content we have available and adding functionality. We recently started a games section, where you can play more than 800 games online for free, and have developed mobile apps that allow users to access Yookos on their mobile phones. So for now it’s not about a single great innovation, but rather a series of small changes that make the site better and more compelling for our users.

NR: Thank you sir.

This interview was facilitated by Sesema PR Ltd.

Celebrating 10 years in the business of Communications. Sesema PR Ltd turned 10, April 1, 2012. From its humble beginings as a small agency offering traditional PR services in Nigeria, the company now also serves Ghana, and offers IT & Digital and Market Research services.

In 2007 we became the Nigerian affiliate to Edelman, and in 2009 the agency was awarded the 'Best PR Practise' award by the school of MassCom at Lagos State University.

Sesema has become the agency of choice for international companies operating in Nigeria.

For further information go to: http://

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