African app Teta takes on messaging giant WhatsApp?

African app Teta takes on messaging giant WhatsApp?

Enter Teta, a new instant messaging app by two entrepreneurs from Zimbabwe and South Africa. According to reports in the Sunday Times, Themba Moyo and Lisa Phendla want to take on WhatsApp. Teta is an instant messaging app that works when you have no data. The zero data deal currently works on the Vodacom network only. Users on other networks will need data plans to use the app which is already available for Android and can be downloaded from Google Play Store. An iOS version of the app will be available in 2017.

One of the partners Moyo said they intend to expand Teta to MTN and Telkom later. The Sunday Times reported that the the app is built on a Vodacom-developed platform that is used by ABSA to let its clients access its online banking services without airtime. The duo plan to fund the cost of accessing the platform with advertising.

The review

An African instant messaging app that want to take on WhatsApp?! I was captivated the by the Sunday Times headline and decided to do a review so here we go:


The app was officially launched on the 1st of July 2016 but still has just 1000 downloads two months down the road and a user rating of 2.5 from 84 users.


The installation is about 15 Mb and was smooth.


This was by far the worst signup for anything, ever. For a moment it felt like signing up for some nuclear program. The app asked for way too much information than would be necessary. The worst part is there was no optional information to skip. We could not figure out why the creators of the app need to know gender, birthday, relationship status, religion, ethnicity, location, social habits, shopping habits, email address, career status, income, major assets, dependents. That is an extremely long list even for free messaging.

To be brutally honest, after the gruesome sign up we just did not have the energy to chat with anyone. We doubt you will have any left as well.

Screen shot from the signup

The verdict

We commend all efforts by the developers but they have some work to do. The sign up process is just way over the board. The idea of a data free messaging app is brilliant though.

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