Can somebody Kill social bundles please!

Pricing in UGX source:https://www.mtn.co.ug/en/products/internet/Pages/mtn-social-bundles.aspx

For those who are wondering what it is, social bundles are cheap internet packages that allows you access to social media only. They are so popular that people have forgotten about emails and google+(not that it matters a lot), everybody is on their phones all day.

So why does all this matter to me you may ask.

Today morning as i was on my way to work, a friend i was traveling with asked me about yesterdays football scores, as you would imagine, he was holding his phone, and I got baffled and asked, you seem to be online, why don’t you give it a google search? and yes you guessed it, he was using a social pack. Normally I wouldn’t even bother about this kind of things but being somebody who has tried the tech space in Uganda and failed a couple of times because people are on their damn social bundles, I am now concerned.

I can think of a couple of startups that have flopped because their market fit are on social bundles and cannot access their innovations. “There is something about the bundles” one of my friends attempted to explain. Its cheap and gives you access to WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram. This gets me wondering, would people still buy social bundles if actual internet bundles were as cheap? Where do the ISP’s leave us, we the struggling startups? is it some kind of selfish action; or business is business?

Startups

There was a time when startups could actually report monthly recurring revenues but now everybody is dying quietly. Kola studios had a great game Matatu, I couldn’t get enough of it, am guessing revenue was great too. They even had online gaming, hell I could play with my buddy from Sudan and joke about it. Then social bundles happened :( . Am guessing app installs reduced, playing by yourself got boring, daily active usages dropped, ads revenue slandered, you get whats happening here. Disclaimer, this is all hypothetical. Look at Intel world, they came up with a great idea, Xente. Pay your bills, credits and many more on one app. But hey, it doesn’t work on social bundles.

My frustration is, it’s very hard to get any app to succeed when social bundles are still around. No matter how great your idea is. To succeed, you either pivot or build what works with social bundles. It’s the bitter frustrating truth that led me to building my Kanamo app as a facebook bot. I saw some growth there. But who am I kidding, the bot experience is not as nearly nice as the android app.

If it were up to me, social bundles would go, but it’s not up to me. Let me know what you think.