Meet Woloks, an App that lets you send messages with or without an internet connection

woloks Uganda mobile app

We know Whatsapp is the gold standard in mobile messaging.  However, Whatsapp heavily relies on your mobile plan to send and receive messages. Now Woloks, a Ugandan-based mobile messaging App wants to redefine how we communicate.

Whether the reciever is online or offline, Woloks “just works”. As if that’s not enough, unlike other messaging apps we have today, Woloks also works with smartphones and feature phones alike, Tweheyo Brian the co-founder and CEO told this blog.

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Launched earlier this year, the App is re-launching. This time with even more features such as the ability to send bulk sms, and also a mobile marketing concept for companies, organisations and individuals Brian said.

The App is looking at anyone with internet access and more specifically android smart phone users, but the main demographic they are looking at, is Youth and young adults, between ages 15 to 40.

The team has chosen to start with a mobile App on Android for now, but hopes to go cross platform. The team is inspired by the never ending human need to communicate; “What Inspired me to create the app is the fact that communication is very essential and i needed an easy way to communicate with my people” Brian said.

The Apps hopes to win Whatsapp users over with a clever feature. One that enables users to send a message to some one who has no access to internet or doesnot have the Woloks App running.

“Yes there are thousands of social networking but none of them really solves the problem that woloks is solving. Alot of Ugandans have phones but a small percentage of them have smart phones, so bringing a messenger that helps ease communication both ways is a seller of its self.” Brian said.

Woloks, unlike many startups, is an eight-man team composed of developers, marketing, Human resource, and PR experts, and includes developers such as Ivan Mworozi who has worked on products like e-Ride.

This comes after just last month when Ugandan billionaire, Ashish Thakkar  launched Mara Messenger, another Whatsapp rival.  The App is currently in beta phase with a dedicated testing team on a Google group (free goodies available) although it will be available in the App stores “soon”. You can also follow them on Twitter.

  • Whether the [receiver] is online or offline, Woloks “just works”.

    That’s the main selling point… they will win if they are able to prove that their magic works consistently and get people (in droves) to believe in it.

    Can’t wait to see what comes of this!! If they’re still taking suggestions, they’d probably need to rethink the name… Woloks, Warlocks, Wolocks, Wolox << It's not very easy to spell judging from the pronunciation. It's better to start a startup with a name anyone can spell just by hearing it… those companies go further. Some examples: Toyota, Benz, BMW, etc

    Personally, I like WOLOX but that's just me

    Good luck to the team

    • I agree, our startups always have branding issues. They don’t give enough thought to branding their products.

    • Caroline Agaba

      So it’s basically an sms service! The only competitive edge I see here is the bulk text thing. Otherwise if someone doesnt have data that someone will simply call or text.why would they need an I missing something?

      • Yeah, you can send an SMS and it will arrive whether your mobile data is on or off.

        However, it seems they’ve figured out a way to make an app that sends not just SMS, but “bulk SMS” as well, it could disrupt the bulk texting industry if they price it right.

        • I would not count on SMS feature if it were me. Giving users Free SMS is simply not sustainable for this kind of product. Each SMS currently goes for UGX 130 although in bulk I know that figure could be much less, maybe UGX 25 or even 10. However, the point is, Woloks will still be footing that bill while the users enjoy for Free!! How smart is that?

  • Caroline Agaba

    I’m not sure i understand…
    How is this different from sending an SMS?

    • It’s not different, but it’s not the same

      From the screenshots above, I see it’s got bulk SMS baked in

    • Tweheyo Brian

      Hello Caroline, The main reason why millions of people use whatsapp or any messaging application is basically for sms, other features are additions, and if you are sending an sms that wont get delivered, basically that wont serve the purpose, woloks is coming to give you free sms, with the ability to guarantee delivery whether the person is online or offline, it will save you the costs of sending sms, using the available means. And yeah ofcourse additions like Bulk sms capability will ease work for you more.

      • Caroline Agaba

        Oh okay. How shall you make money then? hihi

        • Tweheyo Brian

          As long as people are happy using the app, there are so many ways to make money, our intention right now is to provide the most awesome and simple way to communicate.

  • Putting yourself out there as a marketing platform is a difficult way to attract new users, especially if the benefits of why you want it in the first place aren’t super clear (see comment from @carolineagaba:disqus ) – Does it save people money? does it do something that SMS can’t? Getting a critical mass of users finding your service useful seems like where the attention should be right now.

    The ‘ mobile marketing concept for companies, organisations and individuals’ market will come if they see a big enough opportunity. Trying to force this too soon might mean those brave first companies see little return and instead of an infectious word of mouth “have you seen this thing?, I did this and got this amazing return” it might just be – oh yeah I tried that and there was no one there.

    • I agree with @simdavis:disqus. If there’s a way they can make it go Viral without much marketing shilling spent(which money can be well spent in something else), that would be great. Word of Mouth is always the best form of marketing for such innovations.

  • Muwonge Schilacci Silas

    great app for download for we#the android users