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Launch Of Pocket In Kenya By Mozilla

by Femme Staff

From left: Eunice Kilonzo – Manager, Content Generation at Safaricom PLC, Matt Koidin – Vice President of Pocket, Mozilla and Dr Njoki Chege – Director, Innovation Centre at Aga Khan University.

Yesterday at Radisson Blu Upper Hill, Mozilla launched Pocket for East Africa at an event attended by top content creators in the country and Pocket officials. The launch which was in partnership with Aga Khan University ushers in a space where East Africans have more hand in how they tell and share their stories to the world. We now have a platform on which to control the narrative about our continent by curating our own content in our own voice. The partnership with Aga Khan University will ensure that local content is curated and distributed to better optimise the product to meet the needs of Kenyan online users.

For the first time, we have a series of collections from outstanding Kenyan curators who bring fresh perspectives from Kenya and East Africa”Dr. Njoki Chege, Director, Media Innovation Center.

I have always loved Pocket. The first time I told a friend about it almost 5 years ago, I described it as a nifty corner of the internet where all the noise has been filtered and you have a quiet space in which to not only read superbly curated content, but also to curate your own. Given how noisy and crowded the internet can be, Pocket which is available on Android and iOS gives users a platform to keep away the noise. A place where you can access written and visual content of your liking and even save it for offline browsing at a later date. It is a space by you for you as opposed to an algorithm curated one. To be a good content creator you have to consume great content and this app goes a long in serving the right stories. It is also an extension of the Firefox browser by Mozilla.

Though Pocket has been around for over 10 years, the launch into East Africa could not be more timely. Over the last few years, the internet space in Kenya has grown tremendously thanks to availability of affordable smartphones and affordable data plans from different providers. As per the latest Communication Authority report, total data/internet and broadband subscriptions in the country stands at 46.5 million and 30.2 million respectively. This is a huge pool of content creators and audiences, and an atmosphere for the use and growth of an aggregator like Pocket in the region.  

Some features that enhance the user experience of the app are that saved articles can be revisited without data, articles saved are stripped of ads and formatting, and downloads can only be done over Wi-Fi. These features not only serve to make Pocket easier to navigate, but also save users some money in the long run. This is in the spirit of Mozilla’s philosophy which is hedged on a principle of putting people first, where individuals are safe, independent, and empowered to shape their own experiences.

As an East African content creator and consumer, I’m excited to continue using Pocket, this time with more flavour from fellow East African creators and beyond for diversity. This is a reality that has already been communicated by the Aga Khan University whose Media Innovation Center will identify and work with a team of curators with exceptional content.

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