Jio Chat, the instant messaging app rolled out by Reliance Jio (Reliance Industries subsidiary) as part of its series of digital initiatives, has crossed one million active users within two months of its launch in April this year without any paid advertisements or promotions, said RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani.
Ambani who was speaking at Reliance’s 41st annual general meeting of shareholders, said,
We released Jio chat on both the Android Play store and Apple app store on a pilot basis. In just the first few weeks of operations, Jio Chat now has over a million active users, without any paid promotions or paid advertisements whatsoever.
Jio Chat, which is pretty much similar in working to Line and WeChat, features chat, voice, video calling, conferencing, file sharing, photo sharing and much more, all integrated in a single application.
While a million active users in two months is a phenomenal achievement in itself but is quite negligible as compared to the current market leader Whatsapp, which has a 70 million user base in India alone and that too as of November last year.
Though none of the other messaging apps disclose their active user base data Rakuten- owned Viber had claimed to have 40 million registered users in India in April and Bharti- Softbank backed Hike had claimed to have 35 million registered users in India as of August last year.
While backing of one of the richest man of earth is obviously an advantage for Jio Chat, it still has a few distinct features, enough to differentiate the app from the hugele cluttered IM space.
For example, apart from basic texting, voice and video calling options, Jio Chat also features a dedicated tab for brand pages, wherein users can view updates from various brands in a Facebook page-like interface. While this will be interesting for viewers, it will most likely be one of the primary revenue channels for the app.
Jio Chat already has over 500K downloads on the Play Store, with the app receiving an average of 4 star review from over 14K reviewers.
RIL has reportedly invested about Rs 60000 crore in Jio which is a complete portfolio of products and services in the digital area rather than just telecom service.
Talking about the same, Ambani said,
Reliance Jio is one of the largest transformational greenfield initiatives anywhere in the world. All key components of Jio are operational.
He said that Reliance Jio will also play a major role in other areas like smart cities, internet of things and online healthcare and will play a significant role in lifting India from its current 142nd rank on Internet penetration to amongst the top 10 nations in the world.
Apart from Jio Chat, Reliance Jio is coming up with a plethora of digital services, the most notable among being the much awaited 4G LTE devices which will be available at starting prices of under Rs 4,000 by 2015-end; a new generation of broadband services covering about 80% of India’s population by year end and a “Switch and Walk” application which allows consumers to copy everything from their old phone to new phone in few clicks.
In addition to it, a large number of other applications are also in pipeline such as the DropBox/OneDrive like file sharing service Jio Drive; Apple Music/Gaana.com/Saavn-like music streaming service Jio Beats; live TV & catch-up TV service Jio Play; online news service Jio News and online magazine service Jio Mags.
The entire bouquet of Reliance Jio services would be priced between Rs 300 and Rs 500.