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Opera News hits 10m downloads in Africa

Opera News hits 10m downloads in Africa

In six months since its launch in Africa, Opera News, a dedicated news app created by Norwegian browser development company, Opera Software, has reached 10 million downloads.

According to AppAnnie, a firm that collects and analyses market data on mobile apps, Opera News is now the most downloaded news app in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, SA and Tanzania.

Opera News is a free app that works by delivering real-time AI (artificial intelligence) curated news in a variety of formats to users; it also gets smarter with each use as it learns preferred news.

The app was received well when it first launched, and was downloaded one million times in Africa in its first month.

However, the company attributes its recent exponential success to a recent update to the app that included a football World Cup channel and other football-related features. These features allow fans to keep up to date with the results of matches, follow live scores, as well as tables and fixtures of the group stage and the knockout stage.

"Africa is crazy about football and so are we. That's why it's a pleasure to update Opera News with features designed for football World Cup fans," says Jorgen Arnesen, global head of marketing and distribution at Opera.

The app also lets users follow their favourite teams to get a more tailored experience within the app.

"The app becomes more and more personal and makes it easier for users to find all the information they need about their favourite teams," says Arnesen.

Last year, Opera Software announced it will invest $100 million (around R1.3 billion) over two years to facilitate the growth of the African digital economy. The company said it will use the money to speed up Internet adoption in Africa and strengthen the Internet ecosystem with local partners.

Nine out of the top 20 Opera Mini (the company's Web browser product) user countries are from Africa.

Opera News was created not to be burden on the user's phone and save storage space on devices. The app was also apparently built to be low on mobile data consumption, even when users watch video.

Users are able to download news pieces while using public WiFi and read the stories offline later when they do not have access to the Internet.

Opera News is available to download from the Google Play store, and supports 16 languages.

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