In an effort to “humanise digital communication with real, contextual and relevant content”, Oju Holdings released an Android prototype of its full messaging app, OjuChat, on 9 October 2019. This messaging platform differentiates itself from competitors with its inclusion of more than 4,800 “hyper-localised and culturally diverse” emoji. Dubbed “emojus” these region-specific and culturally appropriate emoji are tailored to users in specific countries, who may not necessarily identify with the emoji offering currently available in traditional messaging apps.

In a press release, Oju Holdings (Oju is the Yoruba word for “faces) says that OjuChat hopes to bring more inclusive emoji to users.

“It is our ability to celebrate our differences, along with our own need to empower people to express themselves freely through the use of visual content that aligns to their own individuality, which has driven the creation of the platform.”

“As global citizens, our diversity is our strength and we believe that inclusion is the key to unlocking that strength, especially in an increasingly digital world. All people experience emotion and we all smile in the same language – OjuChat will be the platform that connects us through our diversity,” the company said.

OjuChat’s emojus are culturally inclusive and specific. South African users will rave over emojus depicting bunny chow and pap and gravy, for example. The company has invited users to give their feedback and to suggest additional emojus.

“The app is in a constant state of evolution and the team is currently working on adding voice and introducing an iOS version. As an inclusive company, we are welcoming of user feedback around additional functionality that can be built into the platform and content is continuously being created to ensure the app stays relevant, fresh and innovative,” said Oju Holdings.

Just like other popular messaging apps, OjuChat offers the ability to send voice messages, videos and pictures, with end-to-end messaging encryption ensuring communication remains private. Message delivery notifications, group chats, attachments and profile management also form a part of the messaging app’s offering.

OjuChat is currently only available to Android users, although Oju Holdings has said that a version for iOS is currently being developed.

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