Is there room for another mobile messaging player? Jongla, the Helsinki-based messaging app, tells us they’re seeing some initial traction as they try to break into the crowded messaging market. The app is available to download on iOS, Android, or on the web or other phones with HTML5, and is targeting the 15-24 market. The messaging features include sending photos, location information, and a notification system that lets you know when the other person is typing or if your message has been received. For registration, Jongla uses your address book to find contacts, rather than having you select a name for yourself.
One angle Jongla is using to appeal to their younger base is “stickers”. Users can still use their emoji keyboards, but in addition to that, Jongla offers bigger, more personalized animated icons that serve the same purpose. These include a pandas, boys, girls, and my favorite – a sauna stove – all expressing a range of emotion.
As much as I like that sauna stove, it comes at a price. $1.99 for 16 stickers to be exact. Jongla is free to use, so this seems to be their monetization strategy for the time being.
They admit that the market is crowded with Kik, WhatsApp, Voxer, and a few others with a big head start, but they feel that they can better serve their user base by responding better to what their users are looking for.
The market is set to be massive as well. They cite market research by Juniper where isntant messaging users will exceed $1.2 billion by 2016. Meanwhile by that year these messaging apps are expected to bring in $70 billion and overtake the traditional SMS market.