“MyChat is tailored for Myanmar youth with localised language, authentic look and feel and localised stickers,”
MyChat, a free mobile messaging application created for Myanmar users, soared to a leading market position within days of its launch, product developer MySQUAR said in a news release.
MyChat was launched on august 27 and on September 10 was number one on a google Play list of the top free new app downloads and fourth on a list of free downloads in Myanmar, the release said.
MySQUAR chief executive officer Linda Lim said MyChat’s rapid take-up in the market was due to character stickers and emoticons designed to appeal to Myanmar users.
More than 1,000 of the stickers were sent within 24 hours of MyChat’s launch, said the news release, issued on September 10.
“MyChat is tailored for Myanmar youth with localised language, authentic look and feel and localised stickers,” Ms Lim told Mizzima Business Weekly in an email interview on September 15.
“We believe that this customised experience is resonating with our audience, and that is reflected in the Google Play reviews,” she said.
The Myanmar diaspora means the audience reaches far beyond the country’s borders.
MyChat was downloaded by users in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, South Korea and the United States within two weeks of the launch, the release said.
The MyChat application includes Myanmar stickers based on iconic characters such as the dancing couple with parasols, U Shwe Yoe and Daw Moe, favourites with Myanmar audiences in stage performances, and traditional dolls Pho Wa Yoke and Pho Thar Htoo.
Stickers of U Shwe Yoe and Daw Moe were the most popular, with stickers of Pho Thar Htoo and Pho Wa Yoke second and third respectively in popularity, the release said.
My Chat will continue to develop the product and keep it relevant to its audience, Ms Lim said.
“We will look to Myanmar history, culture and iconic characters for ongoing innovation in designing authentic Myanmar sticker sets,” she said.
“Challenges for MyChat as with most apps in the industry include growing the user base by applying the right sales and marketing, operational and technical strategies and tactics.”
MyChat is among several products developed by MySQUAR, which developed Myanmar’s first Myanmar-language content program. The others include the MySocial social network, MyStore, a one-stop store for apps, and MySQUAR games.
Asked if there were plans to add a voice application service on MyChat, Ms Lim said MySQUAR was “always working to provide the best possible product experience for our customers and will leverage insights and feedback from the community for future features”.
“MySQUAR will continue to develop locally relevant products for Myanmar youth, and longer-term support for an eco-system that will support local developers and eCommerce merchants,” she said.
Ms Lim expressed appreciation for the support MySQUAR has attracted from investors.
“We’ve been very heartened by the support we’ve received from a number of investors, though as a private company we are not able to disclose that information,” she said.
MySQUAR is the redesigned brand and logo launched in February of the company previously known as SQUAR.
“The new direction in branding reflected our company’s journey in shaping the online future of Myanmar while connecting the land, the language and the people of Myanmar,” Ms Lim told Mizzima Business Weekly in an email on September 18.
“As we expanded our products and services in Myanmar beyond our first product, the MySQUAR social network, we wanted to create an identity that was meaningful to both us as well as the people of Myanmar, one that would reflect the culture, opportunity and uniqueness of this country,” she said.
“MySQUAR connects the company to the country through Myanmar’s two-letter country code, My. the redesigned logo is simple yet bold with the new gold and purple colour palette paying homage to the vibrant and colourful culture of the ‘golden land’.”
MySQUAR has offices Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam, as well as Yangon.
This Article first appeared in the September 25, 2014 edition of Mizzima Business Weekly.
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