Its all drums roll as Opera News Nigeria clocks one today. The news app which bagan operations in Nigeria on the 4th of June 2018, made its appearance in the Nigerian market at a time when the Nigerian news publishing market interestingly needed a central pool.
The Opera News app is a content aggregator pooling political and entertainment stories from over 500 news publishers which it in turn pushes to news consumers who visit the app.
Before the advent of the news app, the Nigerian market had virtually no experience of news aggregation from different publishers delivered and made available to them all on one platform save for Bounce news.
Speaking on the app’s first year experience, Country Lead of Opera News Nigeria Mr. Collins Udeme says the experience has been successful. He narrates the one year experience:
”Considering where we are coming from, it has been a successful run. We started with a team of 1 which was myself basically, and then 12 team members were added. From there we have grown to about 80 plus. So the last twelve months has been successful.
Speaking on the challenges encountered in its first year of operation so far, he continues thus:
“Like you know in every sphere of life, you have challenges. Now the challenge when we started was that I didn’t have the luxury of having trained and experienced journalists to start up with. But we were able to manage the situation.
” You know we started the Opera News Nigeria during the world cup and so our engagement was woven around the world event. I had a team of talented guys and so what I did was basically to bring a number of experienced hands and that complemented the effort.
” The challenge also has always been the fact that Opera News is dynamic, we are not static. Today we may be on this direction and tomorrow we change course because we are constantly finding the right pattern for news consumption by our consumers and for a market that news app was not really big at the time since we were still used to the conventional model of going to websites, Nigerians were just beginning to move away from paper newspapers as at this time to reading news on their phones. And then we came and did things differently. It also meant that those who came into Opera News had to do things differently. So, being able to push those guys to do things differently was part of the experience.
The way we do our business here was pretty different from what some of us were used to. Many of us were used to the normal journalism style. But I believe that this is the future of news consumption and journalism and I’m very happy that we have had people who are receptive, people who are willing to shed their own ways and imbibe the new way of putting out news so to speak. So its been fun, its been challenging, but at the end of the day, God has been faithful.
Speaking on the future of the news app, the country lead had this to say:
” We want to stay on top. The objective for me and the only way for me is for us to stay on top, theres no going down and also giving Nigerians what they want.
Some of our reviews prior to now has been negative because to an extent its not really easy censoring what gets on the app from third party publishers but what we have done is to put in place a quality control measure that ensures that our readers don’t get that negative vibe anymore about the platform and we are doing a lot to ensure that our readers get the best out of the news app.
We have a product, we are number one in Africa, and our goal is to maintain that position as we give out the best content to our readers” he says.
The Opera News app can be downloaded from the Android app store as well as the Apple store.