November 13, 2014 - 12:00am
Helsinki-based messenger application developer Jongla Ltd. aims to have a big presence by partnering with the country’s second largest cellular operator, PT XL Axiata, aiming to make its instant messenger among the top three in the country.
Jongla CEO Riku Salminen said after the partnership launch on Wednesday that he aimed at making his firm’s messenger application ―also named Jongla― one of most used instant messengers in Indonesia next year.
“We are convinced that Indonesia will be our biggest market […] and we are targeting being in the top three instant messaging providers [in the country] by end of next year,” he said.
Thailand currently is the country with the largest number of Jongla users, accounting for 30 percent of total users, Salminen said.
“With rapid growth in the number of smartphone users in Indonesia, we are upbeat that the country will become our largest market by the end of this year or next year,” he said, refusing to disclose any specific target.
XL digital services manager Riskha Adam Muharadi said, meanwhile, that he estimated that XL would see no fewer than 1.5 million of its subscribers using Jongla by the end of next year.
“We are pretty much sure that by the end of next year, around 10 percent of our subscribers using smartphones, or 1.5 million people, will use Jongla as most Indonesians are keen on trying new things,” he said.
Adam said that the partnership with Jongla would also increase his firm’s revenue from value-added services (VAS) by 6 to 8 percent next year.
Under the partnership, XL will provide a phone billing system in which subscribers using the instant messenger on the XL network will be able to buy unique stickers by phone billing.
Such purchases have been previously available on Play Store, bought using credit cards.
Salminen said that although Jongla would face tough competition from existing instant messengers, such as BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) and WhatsApp, it would be able to challenge the market through its interactive offers.
According to a recent study by Nielsen, around 79 percent of Indonesian smartphone users used BBM, 57 percent used WhatsApp and 30 percent used LINE.
To break into the market, Jongla, which was first launched in 2010, offers a number of features that some other messengers do not have.
The Finnish messenger offers users the ability to personalize chat profiles and to share interactive stickers, such as a dancing boy.
“We will also soon introduce very localized stickers, collaborating with local developers,” Salminen said.