If you’re a fan of this blog, you know that voice-calling apps are poised to be the biggest trend to hit businesses in 2015. We’ve written multiple blog articles on start-ups that are already using voice-calling technology within their apps – and the fantastic results that they’ve been getting.
For the most part, we’ve kept our explorations relatively limited to the United States. But how have voice-calling apps been used around the world? Is there a difference between how people use voice-calling apps in Indonesia vs. here? What about in Africa? South Korea?
With that in mind, let’s fire up your online world explorer and take a look at how voice-calling apps have been used in other countries – you just might be surprised at the similarities!
South Korea is not only known for being on trend – they start trends. From the latest advances in motor technology to taking over the world with Korean pop (seriously, YouTube it and try not dancing along), South Korea is the country to watch if you want to learn about what trends will hit American shores.
Voice-calling apps are already being used in South Korea – and in extremely interesting ways. One of the biggest impacts that voice-calling has made is helping online dating become much safer. Traditional dating sites often require users to exchange personal information (including phone numbers) to take dating offline. If you’re on a dating site, this means you have to risk providing your personal information to someone who may not be who they say they are.
South Korean online dating apps have effectively solved this problem by incorporating voice-calling within their technologies. One prime example of this in action is IUM, a popular dating app that combines voice and video technology. This allows users to call a dating prospect within the app – without exchanging personal information like phone numbers and email addresses. This allows online daters to talk to a prospect date without fearing that their personal information is being used for nefarious reasons.
Connecting daters without risking their safety? Now that’s a trend that American dating sites should get behind. Watch this space to see what online dating sites pick up on the trend – we guarantee that the first ones to hop on board the voice-calling technology trend will end up with the most users.
As a continent, Africa is experiencing an interesting scenario: it’s business and technology scene is exploding, but many countries are still grappling with poverty, inequality, and health epidemics. That’s why many African businesses are looking for shortcuts to explode business growth, as it can only have positive benefits for the continent as a whole.
Fortunately, Africa has mobile technology on their side; it’s estimated that over 60% of Africans have mobile phones, with some forecasts estimating that number could reach 100% within the next decade. This means African businesses that are looking to penetrate into local markets can utilize the power of mobile phones to expand and accelerate their business growth.
One non-profit has been using voice-calling apps with massive success. MAMA (Mobile Alliance for Mobile Action) is a program that sends vital health information to at-risk mothers within low-income populations. MAMA sends SMS messages and voice calls to mothers who need access to vital health information, including tips on maintaining a healthy pregnancy, important health alerts, and prenatal care available in their area. This gives new and expectant mothers the ability to provide the best care possible to their children, no matter where they’re located.
Voice-calling apps also helps reach mothers who may not have the ability to disseminate information sent via text (for example, illiteracy may prevent a mother from reading an SMS message). A simple voice message helps jump these hurdles by giving mothers the ability to access the same information without relying on text messages.
This practical and innovation solution is seriously taking off in Africa, with many companies and non-profits looking to use the same technology in other third-world countries. As an example, MAMA is looking to make a multi-million dollar investment to launch similar programs in Bangladesh and India, where impoverished mothers need help accessing quality prenatal and antenatal care.
On our final leg of our virtual journey, let’s take a look at how people in Indonesia are using voice-calling apps. There’s a remarkable new trend of people using their tablets to make phone calls – and that’s all possible because of voice-calling apps.
The Asian market – particularly within Indonesia – is showing high demand for tablets with voice-calling functions. In 2014, electronics vendors shipped over 13.8 million tablets with voice-calling functions to Asian markets in the second quarter alone.
The reason behind this massive trend? Some analysts think that consumers in Asian countries like Indonesia may be working with tighter budgets, meaning they need to purchase a single device that merges together multiple functions. These consumers don’t want to walk around with a smartphone, computer, and tablet; instead, they want to suit their budgetary needs by purchasing just one electronic device.
With many tablets costing between $100 and $300, it’s no wonder consumers in Indonesia and other Asian countries are turning to these devices, many of which are outfitted with voice-calling functions.
In fact, Indonesian advertisers are taking notice. Many advertising campaigns are branding these devices as “tablets with voice options” – indicating that a voice-calling function is one of the primary reasons why these devices are so popular. Without voice-calling apps embedded in a tablet, it just won’t sell in an Asian market like Indonesia.
So what does this mean for American markets?
Simple: if you want to increase sales, reach more populations, and provide innovative services that customers love, it pays to invest in voice-calling apps.
In fact, we’re willing to bet that companies who incorporate these apps in their own products and apps will quickly blow away their competition.
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