Infinity Technologies, a local tech startup launches Hulugram, a multi-purpose messaging app that is built on top of Telegram.
Hulugram is a Telegram client app that aims to enhance the telegram messaging experience. It provides a new set of features such as marketplace, payment, and social sharing features besides the features the default Telegram app provides.
Telegram is a dominant instant messaging platform in Ethiopia, unlike many African countries where WhatsApp and messenger take the lead. By leveraging the scale and distribution of Telegram in Ethiopia, Hulugram targets the young Ethiopian population as its primary market.
Anyone who signs up to Hulugram is still able to access and use the features of the normal Telegram, communicate with other Telegram users, but also can experience the added features.
The name Hulugram stands for “Telegram for everything“. While “Hulu” in Amharic means “everything”, The word “gram” was taken from “Telegram”.
In the words of the founders, ” Hulugram aspires to be a lifestyle & productivity app where people can chat, run a business & make payments all in one place, without the hassle of going from one app to another”.
What are the new features?
Hulugram Marketplace is a feature where already existing buy and sell channels or any e-commerce channels are aggregated in one place. The marketplace allows these channels to be organized and easily found by customers as a shop.
Telegram channel owners will be able to be listed and present items in an organized manner, market their products effectively and have better customer relationship management. While Telegram buyers can easily find the products they are looking in the marketplace.
Hulugram is currently working on integrating a payment gateway to bring payment inside Telegram for Ethiopian users.
Hulugram Social Sharing Functions :
- Stories – Allows users to share stories ( photos and videos ) with their contacts like Snapchat and Instagram. The stories disappear after 24 hours.
- Feed – Allows viewing your contacts profile picture changes in a feed
- React – Users can react to feed content
In-app translation feature where users can translate text in the app to any language supported by Google translate.
People Nearby is a feature to discover and meet new people around them. This is an already existing Telegram feature that has been enhanced. Hulugram app allows you to swipe right and left to new people around you.
Other features include separated tabs for chats: users, groups, channels, bots, favorites, unread, admin/creator(Auto Chat sorting), chat preview, and special contact.
To realize its vision of becoming a multi-purpose messaging platform that accommodates all important functions, Hulugram is also planning to provide the opportunity for other developers to create mini-apps inside the Hulugram.
Talking about future plans, Hulugram founders said, ” We envision Hulugram to be the leading messaging platform in Africa where people come to find what they want, discover anything & share experiences.”
The app has now close to 20,000 downloads after 10 days of a soft launch. Hulugram is available on Google Play for Android devices.