ByteDance Pulls the Plug on LetsChat in Africa

ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, has made the decision to shut down LetsChat, its instant messaging app tailored for the African market. LetsChat was envisioned as a platform catering to young users, aiming to offer an alternative to established messaging giants like WhatsApp and Telegram.

Despite efforts to carve out its niche in the African market, LetsChat struggled to maintain its momentum. While it garnered approximately seven million downloads and enjoyed a significant user base in countries such as Nigeria, Mali, Angola, and Côte d’Ivoire, its popularity gradually declined. According to Sensor Tower data, LetsChat experienced a notable 30% year-on-year decrease in downloads in 2022.

ByteDance’s decision to sunset LetsChat came after careful deliberation and assessment of its strategic business objectives. A spokesperson for ByteDance expressed gratitude for the platform’s role as a valuable communication tool for individuals and businesses in the region, acknowledging the support of its users.

On Wednesday, visitors to Google and Apple Playstores found LetsChat conspicuously absent, signaling its removal from both platforms. As a result, LetsChat users were informed that reward tasks would be discontinued. However, to mitigate any inconvenience, users were assured that they would receive appropriate credits for completed tasks.

While LetsChat’s journey may have come to an end, its impact on the African messaging landscape leaves behind a legacy of innovation and experimentation. As users bid farewell to LetsChat, they reflect on the platform’s brief yet memorable presence in their digital lives.

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