Economy, Sci & Tech

New Sweetener for Locally Developed Messengers

New Sweetener for Locally Developed MessengersNew Sweetener for Locally Developed Messengers

Iranian Internet subscribers as of Friday are charged 70% less for using locally-developed messaging applications compared to service offered by foreign firms.

As per a notification by the Communication Regulatory Authority, local mobile operators and Internet service providers are required to offer 70% discount to subscribers using indigenous messaging applications, ISNA reported.

The discount is offered on communications conducted via four major locally developed messengers namely, Gap, iGap, Bisphone and Soroush.

According to local Android market Café Bazaar, Soroush has been downloaded 1 million times from the service, Gap and iGap each 100,000 and Bisphone only 20,000 times.

The messengers are also available on local iOS app market Myket. Soroush has been downloaded 200,000 times on Myket, iGap 27,000, Bisphone 14,000 and Gap 7,000 times.

Assuming every person who has downloaded the apps actively uses them, the indigenous messengers will have less than 1.5 million users. This is while their main rival in Iran, Telegram, reportedly has 40 million active users or half the population of the country. Since none of the local apps have ever been subject to an independent audit, they so far have not been able to earn users’ trust.

This is not the first sweetener offered to locals aimed at boosting use of indigenous applications and online services.

Earlier in March 2017, the ombudsman issued a call requiring ISPs to offer a 50% discount to subscribers using the domestic National Information Network. Created  by the Telecoms Ministry, NIN was launched in 2016 as an alternative independent network.

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