Opera Most Popular News App In Major African Markets With Over 10M Downloads

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli

Opera News, Norwegian web browser developer Opera Software‘s mobile application, is the most downloaded news app in several major African markets, having reached 10 million downloads only six months after its launch.

The news app launched in January this year, and was downloaded one million times in Africa during that first month. It has since been downloaded over 10 million times, with 2018 soccer World Cup features added to the app boosting downloads significantly, according to ITWebAfrica.

Opera mini is the most widely used mobile browser on the African continent, and in November 2016 the company reached an impressive milestone with 100 million active users across its portfolio of products, according to the Opera blog.

San Francisco-based mobile app market data firm, AppAnnie, revealed that Opera News is now the most downloaded news app in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa and Tanzania, which represent some of the continent’s major mobile markets.

The mobile application, which features trending news articles and video content that is curated through artificial intelligence, has been popular since its launch six months ago.

news app
The Opera News app has been downloaded over 10 million times in Africa alone. Photo – AP PhotoSunday Alamba

Recent updates ahead of the World Cup in June and July saw downloads spike significantly, with new soccer features and a channel within the app prompting increased interest in the news app.

Opera News app banks on soccer content

Jørgen Arnesen, global head of marketing and distribution at Opera, explained that they added soccer features to the app because they knew that passionate African sports fans would appreciate the ability to keep up to date with happenings at the World Cup.

“We are extremely excited to see that more than 10 million people across Africa chose Opera News, making it the No. 1 ranking news app on the continent,” said Arnesen, according to VenturesAfrica.

“Africa is crazy about football and so are we. That’s why it’s a pleasure to update Opera News with features designed for football World Cup fans,” he added.

“The app becomes more and more personal and makes it easier for users to find all the information they need about their favourite teams,” he said.

“Opera News users will always get fresh and new content related to the World Cup thanks to our AI technology which gathers top articles for them.”

In May 2017 Opera Software announced plans to invest $100 million in Africa’s digital economy over the next two years, as the company aims to consolidate its most robust market, according to Techcentral.

The investment will be used to develop artificial intelligence that delivers Africans customized and localized content, while continued efforts will be made to reduce data costs by around 90 percent.

The reason for Opera’s wide adoption in Africa is down to tools integrated within the development of the browser that deliver low-cost data usage through compression technologies, allowing Africans with varying internet speeds and cost considerations to easily access the Internet via Opera on their mobile devices.