Symbiotic Media Consortium – www.symbiotic.co.ke, a hybrid technology and marketing firm based in Nairobi, Kenya has released East Africa’s first mobile social network – Sembuse (www.sembuse.com). Sembuse allows users to communicate cheaply at 50 Kenya cents (USD 0.006) per message using the SMS (Sembuse Messaging Suite). With conventional text limited to 160 characters and an average cost of Ksh.3.50 (USD 0.043), Sembuse gives 1,000 characters per SMS at a fraction of the cost of conventional text, allowing unprecedented savings and value addition. Also in the event that the person you wish to reach is not on your Sembuse network, users can use regular text at a subsidized rate of Ksh.2.50 (USD 0.031)to any GSM network in EastAfrica
Sembuse which currently supports three languages (English, Swahili and German – with French and Chinese due for release in 4 weeks) allows users to invite their friends from all over the world into their network and has a myriad of exciting free and premium content offerings that add value to users as they are delivered directly to the user’s handset. These offerings include; customized news alerts, real time stock market alerts and news, rave crave – that gives users a snapshot of the nightlife in their location, the gossip channel – that allows users to submit and share gossip with their friends, the sports bar – where sports fans can keep up to date with the happenings in their favorite sports and a video section with mobisodes across a variety of channels.
Sembuse can be downloaded directly to a user’s handset by pointing the mobile phone browser to m.sembuse.com. Registration is FREE and one can immediately invite friends to their network and start saving money on their communication as it costs the same to send a Sembuse anywhere in the world! Riding off GPRS/3G it has an infinitely small data footprint.
Sembuse boasts of a proprietary hyper-targeting advertising platform – SembuseConnect that allows businesses, whether big brand names, small to medium sized enterprises and even individuals to connect with their target market directly on their handset, with the cost of customer reach and impression being the lowest in the market currently at 50 Kenya cents (USD 0.006).
An individual can book their ManenoAds (text adverts) and choose their desired target group on the Sembuse network from the ease and comfort of their mobile phone wherever they are. The advertisements are served immediately the order is confirmed.
Advertising agencies and large companies wishing to plug into SembuseConnect have access to an additional feature via a web based control panel where they can buy tags for their clients that have an appended rider (which can either be an advert, promotional message or any other message they wish to get across).These in-text adverts get served contextually based on the content of the message sent. As such the advert finds the reader in the right frame of mind where they are more receptive to the message as it is in context and has additional value.
Large companies also have the unique opportunity to “own” Sembuse by having their brands represented in the application’s icons, background and ringtone through various customized themes.
Robust reporting and metrics allow advertisers to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns. SembuseConnect can be used as a standalone media and advertising outlet or it can complement other traditional but more difficult to measure advertising channels.
With the tremendous growth that is being experienced in the mobile telecommunications sector in Africa, Sembuse will have a great impact on how users interact with each other and engage brands at a personal level and at affordable prices and in ways that can be measured.