Jami, a new virtual tipping platform that allows Ethiopian content creators to receive tips from fans and followers, is set to disrupt the country’s social media landscape.
“It’s common to tip a waitress when you’re pleased with their service at your local cafe, but it’s not every day you get to tip a TikToker that made you laugh, helped you learn something new, or simply just because you like them,” says Nathan Damtew.
With Jami’s scheduled to be launched at the beginning of 2023, Nathan and his team built the platform as a tool for content creators to focus on delivering quality content and not worry about earning some cash.
Unlike brand deals, Jami allows creators to earn money regardless of their number of followers or views, and fans can tip their favorite creators beginning with one birr.
Nathan, who is also the co-founder of Social.ly, a digital marketing agency that works with influencers, was long aware that monetizing content was challenging in Ethiopia.
“Content creators in Ethiopia, unlike in other countries, cannot make money off of selling merchandise because the minimum price for such products starts at 400 or 500 birr which makes them unaffordable,” Nathan told Shega.
But he says the idea for the platform came to him when he was writing on Medium, an online publishing platform, around four months ago.
“I saw the potential of earning money from my blog posts, but there was no option for me to monetize my writing from Ethiopia,” he added.
Nathan points out that besides influencers any digital content creator such as writers, and digital artists can use Jami to earn money.
Another service Jami offers is the ability for creators to expand their audience across all social media platforms.
Similar to Link Tree, a social media reference landing page, Jami gives content creators a bio page, where users create a personalized and customizable page that houses all the important links that they want to share with their audience.
“Most social media platforms only have space for one link in their bio section, but content creators use at least two platforms. So what they have been doing is interlinking these platforms with each other, which is not effective,” said Nathan, who started his entrepreneurial journey in 2018 when he founded BeBlocky, a gamified programming learning app for kids.
By connecting their social media accounts, websites, stores, videos, music, podcasts, and events to the Jami Bio page, content creators can give their audience access to their overall work by simply sharing the Jami Bio link on their social media platforms.
Fans in Ethiopia can make the tips using multiple payment options, such as debit cards and telebirr, while fans abroad can use MasterCard, Visa, and Paypal to show their appreciation.
Jami uses Chapa as its payment gateway and takes 13 percent in commissions. The tipped money is deposited into the bank account of the content creator within 24 hours.
When leaving tips, fans will also have the option of leaving a note, which Jami believes will lead to personalized engagement.
The team is also working on adding a premium service to Jami where users will be able to get data and insights such as who their tippers are, when, and how they are tipping them, enabling them to optimize their content towards their loyal fans.
“One content creator was able to earn 5,000 birr in one day. This shows the untapped potential the market holds,” he added.
There were around 26.1 million internet users in August 2022. According to Statista, as of November 2022, Facebook was the most popular social media platform in Ethiopia, with almost 6.9 million users.
However, TikTok is on the rise, and according to Safaricom Plc, there are over 3.7 million monthly active TikTok users in Ethiopia.