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ByteDance Pulls the Plug on African Messaging App LetsChat

In a move that surprised many, ByteDance, the company behind the popular social media app TikTok, recently shut down its African messaging platform LetsChat.

LetsChat, launched in 2021, aimed to capture a share of the young African user base with features designed for data-efficient communication.

Though it initially gained traction, particularly in Nigeria, Mali, Angola, and Côte d’Ivoire, downloads reportedly dipped significantly in 2022.

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ByteDance announced the closure in late March, citing a strategic shift to focus resources on “more promising ventures.”

LetsChat was officially removed from app stores on February 26th, and the platform ceased operations entirely on March 23rd.

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While LetsChat never quite reached the heights of established messaging giants like WhatsApp and Telegram, its closure signifies the ever-competitive landscape of the African tech market.

Analysts point to the difficulty of breaking into a market where existing platforms are deeply entrenched.

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ByteDance invested heavily in LetsChat, hiring local staff and promoting features relevant to African users.

However, the company’s decision to pull the plug suggests that LetsChat ultimately failed to meet its growth expectations.

The shutdown leaves LetsChat users with the task of finding alternative messaging platforms.

Diana Mutheu
Diana Mutheu
Diana Mutheu is a Tech enthusiast, happy to delve deeper into the African tech space covering Social Media, AI, Startups, Telcos, Cryptocurrency, Big Data, Women in Tech and all matters Tech.

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