Monday, 30 May 2016

Watch Out for Afrizle - A Social Network Targeting Africans

A Brief Timeline
Online Social Networks (OSN) are internet services that are known to majorly connect people that ordinarily wouldn’t have been able to reach each other with ease. Services of these kinds were first introduced in the late 1990s. Though early OSNs were faced with many challenges, they paved the way for the successful ones we’re now enjoying. Starting with the launch of SixDegrees.com in 1997, OSNs shoot off on the internet and a lot of failures and successes were recorded in the first five years. Each OSN has something unique about it and this has contributed to their success. Because the cost of maintaining internet services were high when social networks first came into existence, some OSN were forced to end their services, even SixDegrees.com didn’t make it. From 1997 to 2001, a number OSN such as AsianAvenue, BlackPlanet, and Migente sprang up offering unique combinations of existing tools and adding theirs. They all had their ups and downs and some were forced to close down just like SixDegrees.com.

Though many OSN such as Havard-only Facebook, MySpace, Flickr  were launched between 2003 to 2004, the years 2005 and 2006 saw the launching of the networks (e.g. Yahoo 360, facebook for high school networks, YouTube, Cyworld, etc.) that are most successful even till today. Some that started earlier relaunched in 2005 to make their service available to a wider range of people and offering enhanced features. A good example is Facebook for everyone that launched in 2006. AsianAvenue and BlackPlanet are also good examples of OSNs that relaunched and extended their service. Facebook has become the most popular and successful OSN because it introduced a number of unique concepts and features that makes the browsing experience of any internet user a wonderful one.

Many not-so-popular OSN are also famous among their targeted audience. For example nairaland.com also launched in 2005 was targeted at Nigerians and has gained so much popularity that it has become one of the most visited sites in Nigeria. Another example is eskimi.com aimed at connecting people with the aim of making friends, dating and other related activities.

Afrizle Social Network
There is something unique about every existing OSNs and more are on the way. Afrizle is one of the next OSNs with unique features to watch out for. Reliable sources revealed that Afrizle is targeted at Africans and will be accessible in few months to this time by visiting afrizle. I know you’ll visit that site now but like I said, it is still under construction. You can bookmark it and keep checking from time to time to be a pioneering member immediately the site is launched. In an interview with Afrizle’s lead programmer, Isaac Odus, it was gathered that the system they're developing based on PHP/MYSQL and the Android app for Afrizle will be released months after the main site is launched. He said: “Though Afrizle is targeted at Africans, internet users from any part of the world are highly welcomed on the site and will never regret using it. This is a site borne out of love for digital communication and passion for programming. We are based in Nigeria, we are not out to compete with any existing social networks out there but just want to give online networking enthusiast an opportunity to connect and interact from a different perspective. It will be my Joy that when we finally launch the site, it will turn out to be acceptable in the long run. I respect my role models in Nigeria and abroad and hope we can work together some day”. When asked what makes the site unique from other social networks he said: “Afrizle combines some capabilities of both a discussion forum and social networking while promoting African culture as well as giving a voice to Africans generally. You know most African countries are still developing countries, they are nursing poverty, insurgency and corruption among other things. These are issues that we hope people will analyze on the forum. Our members will also be able to connect with others  through some networking strategies I don’t intend to disclose for now. The site will be a go to site for individuals willing to make African friends online. People from other continents can also sign up on the site to enjoy our services. It is not as if we are restricting it to only African countries but only want it to be more populated by Africans home and abroad. Seun Osewa’s creation of Nairaland to give a voice to Nigerians inspired me to start work on Afrizle”.

The launch date is not known yet but the Afrizle team stressed that the site will be fully functional before end of August this year. So add afrizle.com  to your bookmarks as I just did so that we can be one of the first members of the Afrizle Social Network. Watch out!

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