Africa’s first to make TV-watching a social media experience

To Djoss means to comment or share opinion during a discussion. That is exactly what you can do on, an online platform aimed at the Cameroonian TV audience. Recently this starting company won the Cameroon Startup Challenge, reason for VC4Africa to contact founder Patrick Ndjientcheu.

Can you explain in two sentences what is?

“ makes TV social by allowing real time discussions and content discovery by web or SMS during shows. TV channels get valuable feedback and statistics while viewers never have to watch their favorite shows alone again.”

What is your favorite TV programme to djoss about and why?

“Football matches of the Cameroonian national team! You know, everyone in Cameroon thinks he has the secret sauce to let us win matches. So it is always funny to hear what my compatriots think the real coach should do! Also, I’m always deeply emotionally involved when our national football team plays, so the need to djoss is high!”

How did you get this idea?

“I got this idea while watching a football match alone. At one point during the game, I really felt the need to share my emotions and discuss with other viewers, be them friends or not. So, I just told to myself: Why not create a dedicated virtual living room to connect TV viewers in real time?”

Are there similar platforms that are exploring social TV watching? If so, how are you different?

“In US, there are Connectv, Getglue, Intonow, Miso, Zeebox, among others. In France, you have TVcheck, Teleglu and Devant La Tele and also Fango in Australia. But in Africa, we are the first to explore the social TV concept.

How do we differentiate from existing solutions ? Mainly by our main market which is Africa. And we all know it is a mobile first  continent, or mobile only for some, and SMS usage still dominates internet usage. Therefore, the social TV experience is not the same as in developed countries.

We have started to connect TV viewers, whether they are participating to a TV show through SMS or on the website. As more and more people access internet through feature phones in Africa, we are looking forward to provide a web/native experience of on those devices.”

How big is social media in Cameroon? And how is taking off?

“Well, in Cameroon, social media and Facebook are quite the same. Recent figures  show that there are more than 500.000 Facebook users in Cameroon, this is more than half of the internet users in the country.

Concerning, we recently crossed 1.000 users with more than 400 coming from Cameroon and more than 25.000 djoss updates have been posted with around 20.000 coming from Cameroon.

But for now what really matters to us is how deep Djosseurs engage during/after TV shows using, how often they come back to djoss again and whether they are willing to recommend us to their friends. Some of these metrics are actually encouraging and we are improving those which are not.”

You recently won the Cameroon Startup Challenge. How do you think this will help you and how are you spending the US$5000?

“The Cameroon Startup Challenge is giving us a lot of visibility and also motivation. Motivation because, beyond this prize, VC4Africa and its partners have sent a clear signal to all innovative entrepreneurs in Cameroon and wannabe ones: you are not lone, we are there to support you.

Regarding the prize, we are looking forward to launch a formal business and invest in market education. The social TV concept is completely new in Cameroon and in most of African countries and one of our missions is to help key players of the TV-ecosystem take the ride. On the other side, we are kind of betting our success in Africa on feature phones, so we are going to invest in a better feature phone experience via SMS and web.”

What are your challenges at the moment?

“Right now, adoption by TV channels and identifying what really makes a social TV experience awesome for viewers are what keep us up at night.”

What are your goals for the next year and how will you make this a reality?

“For the next year, we aim to push the benefits of social TV across Africa. To achieve that, we plan to close partnerships with 20 TV channels around the continent and deliver a lovely djoss experience on feature phones.”

Find more information about on their VC4Africa venture profile