Most of us are dependent on our phones when it comes to doing some basic everyday things like waking up in the morning and calculating our monthly bills. However, we all know that technology nowadays has the ability to do more than simply provide us with utility apps that come with a given mobile device. As Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria is expected to have over 140 million smartphone users by 2025. So, what are some of the most popular mobile apps in this nation?
Browsing apps are crucial for a nice web experience. While Google Chrome seems to be the go-to choice of many people worldwide, in Nigeria, the top web browser is actually Opera. As a light-weight version that also blocks ads and allows offline file sharing, Opera Mini is quite popular among Nigerians.
While there are still instances in which we turn to simple texts, we have all moved on to instant messaging apps. Luckily, there are many on the market to choose from. When we consider the fact that WhatsApp has over one billion monthly active users across the world, it should come as no surprise that it’s popular in Nigeria as well. Facebook’s Chat is another messaging app that is enjoying similar popularity. However, something that might come as a surprise is the fact that Blackberry Messenger is still actively used. Finally, Telegram and Skype are not to be neglected either, with the latter being especially handy in terms of video calling.
When it comes to social media, Facebook rules supreme. There are over 16 million Nigerians actively using this app. However, it’s important to note that Facebook Lite is actually preferred as it consumes less data and is much faster. Another Facebook-owned app is following closely – Instagram. Seeing as how Instagram is increasingly being used as a business tool as well, it’s only normal that more and more people are on the platform. Twitter is next thanks to its ability to give timely news. An app that is not quite popular in Nigeria is Snapchat. Its somewhat convoluted interface seems to be stopping more people from using it.
Even though an average Nigerian is not too into mobile gaming, there are still games that plenty of people have installed. Such examples include Candy Crush, Subway Surfer, Clash of Clans, and Temple Run. On the other hand, mobile gambling is also on the rise. While people have the ability to place wagers through browsers, apps for sports betting also offer some benefits such as better usability and saving on data costs in the long run.
Seeing as how developers have realized the potential of mobile apps, they are most certainly not lacking in the entertainment sector. In Nigeria, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are among the most popular. Other than enjoying films and TV shows, apps like TikTok Lite, Dubsmash, and Talking Tom Cat provide Nigerians with entertainment as well.
Banking is also made easier thanks to the internet, as every bank in Nigeria has its own mobile application. The most popular apps on Nigerian phones are GTBank, First Bank of Nigeria’s First Mobile, and Access Bank of Nigeria’s Access Mobile. Even though these banks are not the biggest in the country, their approach to internet banking has helped their apps be embraced by many people.
Nigeria is considered to be one of the world’s most religious nations. In a 2009 Gallup Poll, 96% of Nigerians agreed that religion is important to them. With Islam and Christianity being the two predominant religions, apps that offer their holy books are on top. When it comes to the Quran, iQuran and Quran are the most popular ones, while an app simply named Bible is the most used among Christians.
Educational apps are not overlooked either. While there is a premium version as well, the free Duolingo app is quite enough to help learners master the basics of a language – and Nigerians are making the most of it. Then, Quizlet, Lumosity, and TED are also popular among the country’s citizens.
There are new lifestyle apps on the market every day. These attempt to make our lives at least a little bit easier and many of them are seen as successful, which is why they are so popular among users. For example, Tinder, Uber, Spotify, Trip Advisor, AroundMe, and The Daily Horoscope are just some of the many lifestyle apps that have found an interested audience in Nigeria.
Finally, while Twitter is a great way to get the most important news, there are also apps that specialize in this. Some of the most popular news apps in Nigeria include BuzzFeed, SmartNews, Yahoo! News, Google News, and LinkedIn Pulse.
As the number of smartphone users rises, it remains to be seen whether the list of the most popular mobile apps will be changing any time soon.