Is any app worth 241mb of download space? (iOS, 236mb on the Play Store).
The first time I saw the ads with the #SomeoneHadToDoIt captions and the Habari logo, I initially thought It was a dating app. The logo and branding makes me see it as such. I hoped against hope that that’s exactly what it was. I think there’s a huge market for online dating in Nigeria and I think if any serious brand can put their name on a product like that, It would be a hit. Imagine having to sign up to dating apps with your BVN!
I finally got around to downloading the Habari app by GTBank. Maybe I should have downloaded it when they were giving free 500 hundred naira to the first 10k or so downloaders. I figure that’s how they got some of the 50k+ downloads they now have.
On first sight, the app’s user interface (graphical design) isn’t anything great. It’s average at best. I saw Falz’s Talk listed as one of the hottest songs. I clicked on it to play it and was prompted to sign in. Just below the sign in button was a skip button. I tried skipping but realised the button wasn’t functional.
Moving on to the video page, the highly rated Web series, Skinny girl in transit has quite a lot of engagement on the app. I figure this is a reason to download the app if you love the show. The show is shown on ndani TV(YouTube) also owned by GTB which is why the show is on the Habari app.
You get a 24hour free pass to watch shows and then you’ve to subscribe.
I guess the Habari app is GTB’s way of combining all their product offerings into one place. There’s a store front which I’m pretty sure is really a front for their SME market hub (online shopping), you can buy airtime and data, you can chat with people. What people you ask? I don’t know either. (why would I leave a WhatsApp to chat here though? ).
I tried to subscribe to see what the subscription costs were. I saw a number of online channels with the cheapest subscription being N350 per month. What I was paying for exactly was unclear. Was I paying to watch content from only one source or a number of various contents from one source?
The app is slow, laggy and has an inconsistent user interface across pages. I am testing this on a Samsung S8. Maybe it works better on iOS devices.
GTB is heavily pushing this app on their social media pages. In my opinion, the app does too much without doing anything exceptionally well. It looks like a startups idea of an MVP(minimum viable product. A version of an app released to test the market). You can easily get lost with all the features in the app. I don’t think the app does anything exceptionally well and I’d rather watch videos on YouTube, chat on whatsapp, download music from iTunes and use *737# for my online transfers and data.
I think this app will last one year, max two before GTBank phases it out. On the other hand, with an entirely new direction and positioning, it really could become huge.
In the end I’d like to say to the team behind this app #NobodyHadToDoIt.
Usefulness rating: 2/5
Update: I saw an ad for the Habari app while I was going through YouTube today. The ad started by talking about how users use an average of 9 apps per day and how you should use Habari because you can do all those 9 things in one place. Err, eskis me sir. That’s exactly what we don’t want.