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Friday, Feb 23rd

Girl Talk content offering launched in SA and Nigeria

Girl Talk content offering launched in SA and Nigeria

Creative Media Works, operating as BBM Messenger, has partnered with Springster, Girl Effect’s global mobile-first platform for vulnerable young women, to launch Girl Talk, a highly important and purposeful content offering.

With a purpose to ‘create a new normal’ for young women, Girl Talk can be found within the Discover menu of BBM.

A media statement issued by BBM reads: “As young women increasingly access the internet through mobile phones, Springster is specifically designed to help develop young women’s confidence, skills and resilience online, to create positive change in their lives offline.”

According to a 2015 GSMA survey Bridging the gender gap: Mobile access and usage in low- and middle-income countries, over 1.7 billion don’t’ own mobile phones in low- and middle income countries.

Moreover, research shows that social norms can discourage women’s access to and use of mobile technology. Women were 17% less likely than men to own a mobile phone in 2016, and approximately 270million people in Sub-Saharan Africa access the internet through mobile devices.

Matthew Talbot, CEO of Creative Media Works, the company that operates and runs BBM Consumer globally, says that the content partnership is a heartfelt one for the company: “Our role is not just about the platform we provide; it’s about making a difference. The reality is that many young women need self-belief and support from families and their communities; they need skills that will empower them to access services and role models. By providing access to these and other services via Girl Talk, we can help young women become more visible, vocal and knowledgeable. This can help lead to a realisation that they are entitled to healthcare, education and freedom of choice.”

BBM Messenger said it will assist Springster to grow its network and reach more young women “looking to celebrate the diverse, inspirational and convention defying experiences.”

Talbot says that BBM Messenger recognises the direct need within the continent to support the growth and development of young women: “We have initially targeted South Africa and Nigeria as two of Africa’s leading countries, with more than 30 million young women seeking vital information and support. Thereafter we aim to launch this content to further countries.”

However, the companies are not able to disclose which other countries will be targeted.

Designed for low-bandwidth environments and optimised for feature phones, Springster is said to be live in 66 countries, 17 languages, and supported by 78 mobile network operators worldwide. It is one of Facebook’s Free Basics' top-five most visited sites and accessed by an average 1.3 million unique users per month.

Khwezi Magwaza, Editorial Director of Springster said: “Girl Effect’s research looking at the lives of vulnerable girls in places like Nigeria and South Africa identified that a lack of knowledge and confidence were the key drivers for holding young women back in life. Mobile allows us to reach young women in a way that’s never been possible before and by partnering with BBM, we have an incredible opportunity to further unlock Springster’s potential. BBM’s reach will mean we can positively influence millions more young women and help them find meaning and strength in each other’s experiences. In so doing, it creates positive change in women’s lives by building their knowledge, resilience and self-belief.”

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