Right now If you take a stroll down Google Playstore looking for Prophet Magaya’s Let’s Chat app you won’t find it. The app was launched in January last year to much public attention as part of Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries’ (PHD) Yadah Connect business platform. Since a post dated 1 January 2018, there’s no longer any talk of the app by PHD Ministries.
The motive for Prophet Magaya to introduce Let’s Chat was primarily to be able to get in touch with his over 500 000 followers.
Being the fasted growing ministry in the world right now, I have had to keep in constant communication with over 1800 ministry workers and over 500 000 of my children daily
Despite having that army of followers, Let’s Chat only had 5000 downloads (at most) 5 days after it was launched which I think was a lacklustre uptake judging by the number of his followers- I expected that in 3 days it would have had at least 10 000 downloads.
Although I don’t know if the app is still existent (I highly doubt it though), indulge me to work with the assumption that the app is no longer running.
Monetary and adoption success
Let’s Chat was one Zimbabwean app that would have been quite successful. How so? To begin with, Prophet Magaya has a lot of followers which is a bonus for whoever who wants to start a platform or any other cause. Actually, Let’s Chat would have had a head start that platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and the likes never had when the started. Let’s Chat would have started with people who had a high chance of getting onboard but for Facebook and others, they started having a platform before having the followers. Ideally, Let’s Chat was well-placed to be an overnight success, in terms of adoption.
I’m pretty sure you know that there are folks who pay for an abode to talk to Prophet Magaya in person. Obviously, it’s physically taxing for the Prophet to meet 20 people per day. Not to mention the expenses people incur to see the Prophet. Wouldn’t the Let’s Chat platform have been a convenient place for Prophet Magaya and his followers to interact?
Of course, the platform would have opened too wide a door for everyone to talk to the Prophet. So to avoid a scenario where a multitude of people bombarded Prophet Magaya with messages on Let’s Chat, those who really wanted to talk to him on the platform would have had to pay- something like an in-app purchase to access another service (of talking with the Prophet). That way, the platform would realise both order and monetisation in one stroke. However, the monetisation model is not sustainable as its physically impossible to attend to a certain number of people even on Let’s Chat itself.
The monetisation of the platform wouldn’t have ended there, however. It’s no secret that Prophet Magaya is influential. So he would have leveraged his influence to court companies to come and advertise on Let’s Chat. And advertising would surely have been the real goose that laid the golden eggs.
Stagnant adoption and the death of the goose
As I said before, that model of making people pay to talk to Prophet Magaya is only sustainable up to a certain point. Advertising will be the only long term instrument for Let’s Chat to rake up money. Now the thing is to earn more (and more money) through advertising, there as to be gradual growth of people using a platform. Its a no brainer that advertisers are happy to pay more or to come back to advertise on a platform that gets new people every day.
Accordingly adding new users on the Let’s Chat platform was going to be a need (not a want) at some point in time. But that would have been very difficult primarily for two reasons. First off, Let’s Chat was an app that was introduced through the institution of religion and the organisation of the church. Religion in itself is divisive so I don’t think other people from other religions would have come on board. And PHD, being the church, has some people that don’t agree with its evangelical conduct, so to speak, so even people who share its religion would not have come. I guess tech and religion dont mix well that’s why many successful investors don’t brandish their religion or what they stand for.
Secondly, there is an issue of accessing Let’s platform. For any app to stand a good chance of being adopted by many people in Zimbabwe, it has to be very affordable to access it. The kind of affordability I’m talking about is the one that’s associated with accessing WhatsApp and Facebook- there have to be bundles of some sorts or at most zero-rating. So, if using Let’s Chat was not as cheap as WhatsApp, then people wouldn’t have come on board- there would have been a need of a Let’s Chat bundle to convince people to try out the platform.
In terms of adoption, I definitely think that Let’s Chat would have been the most used Zimbabwean app even if it was used by people from PHD only. In terms of monetary success, I’m fairly certain that it would have been the most successful Zim app.