Mobile applications are slowly transforming African society.
Over the past few years, more and more Africans are turning to their mobile phones for services.
These stretch from banking services to agricultural advice and, now, dating.
The uptake of apps across the continent has been surprisingly high, in Kenya 99% of internet access is from a mobile device, 61% of views on BBC’s mobile site are from Nigeria and in South Africa 84% of mobile users have downloaded a mobile app.
According to Mobi Thinking Africa, the top mobile activities for mobile-only users are related to apps: downloading games (55%), downloading music (54%) and social networking (52%).
Some of the most popular traditional apps addressed the locally relevant “needs” of African society.
Kenya’s money-transfer application, M-Pesa, revolutionised day-to-day banking for millions in rural areas who do not have access to traditional banks.
KUZA Doctor is an app which gave huge support to farmers with critical knowledge to increase their rates of production while learning the value of conservation farming.
A gap in the lack of healthcare provision brought about M-health, an app that provides information about health in general and can even connect patients to qualified doctors. As needs change and the handsets adopted become more sophisticated (currently 80% of handsets in Africa are basic) we can expect these dating apps to become more and more popular.
In a search through the top 100 downloaded apps in Africa, using information gathered from App Annie, a site that aggregates IOS top apps along with other IT market data, and “World Hot Apps”, which aggregates the app rankings of all app stores, we have come up with a “Top Ten List” of Africa’s most popular dating apps.
Hidden amongst car racing apps, sex position apps, Bible and Qur’an apps, apps that hide folders and pimp your screen apps were the dating apps.
Almost half of all African countries have a dating app in their top 100 list and, surprisingly, the most popular dating app on the continent was Grindr, an app specifically designed for homosexual or bisexual men.