Audiences across West Africa are increasingly turning to the VOA Hausa mobile site
for breaking news and information that is customized for the mobile platform.
The Hausa-language site received more than 2 million page views in November, making it VOA’s most popular mobile site.
“This remarkable growth is a reflection of the expanding mobile market across West Africa,” said VOA Africa Division Director Gwen Dillard. “And VOA is helping to drive the market by putting high-quality content on our mobile site.”
“The dedication and talent of our small staff here in Washington, and of our invaluable reporters on the ground in Nigeria, is what makes the Hausa mobile site so appealing to our audience,” said VOA Hausa Service Chief Leo Keyen. “We’ve built up a dynamic mobile community, one that will continue to grow.”
Steven Ferri, the Internet managing editor for VOA’s Africa Division, attributes the site’s success to solid journalism by the Hausa Service staff, and the many special features that are critical to our audience, such as The Troubles in Northern Nigeria
(Matsalolin Arewacin Najeriya) and Ramadan Voices
“VOA Hausa has been the first on many stories,” Ferri said, “and it is truly the place people turn to for the latest news in Nigeria.”
Along with up-to-the-minute news, the mobile site features photo and video galleries optimized for mobile, community pages, user profiles, and platforms that encourage interactivity through citizen journalism and comment fields.
“The success we’re seeing stems from capitalizing on the growth of mobile users in the region, but we are also acting as an agent of change ourselves,” Ferri said.
Ferri says the success may also serve as a springboard for future mobile projects from the Hausa Service, including a 24-hour mobile stream that targets a more youthful audience and is designed for consumer-driven programming. That stream will be rolled out in 2014.
The top five mobile language sites at VOA are Hausa, Vietnamese, English, Persian, and Mandarin, according to statistics from October and November.
Along with innovative mobile initiatives, VOA Hausa
reaches its weekly audience of 21 million through radio and the Internet. The service is invested in social media engagement using Facebook, Twitter, 2Go, and YouTube.