Social MediaStart-Ups

What’s “Zhappening” Lusaka: The Zambian Social Networking App

Zhappening welcome page

To put it simply, if you don’t know what Zhappening is, then you don’t know what is happening in Lusaka. Period.

The free app was created by Venivi Limited and is available for download from the Google Play Store and App Store for iOS. The primary goal of Zhappening is to give you access to various events happening across Lusaka. Event organisers can contact Zhappening in order to post their events for free. This app is great for suggesting places to hang out if you are stuck with where to go on a weekend (or weekday) but need to do something with friends or even alone.

Zhappening home page
Zhappening home page

The app has 9 categories: Happening; Wall; Audio; News; Accounts; Top Users; Videos; Favorites; and QR.

Happening currently has two cities listed under its category, that is, Lusaka and Johannesburg. Under Happening are three listings for Upcoming Events, Past Events, and My Events. Once you click on an event and say “I’m going” then it gets transferred to the My Events tab for easy reference.

Happening category under Zhappening

The Wall is like a chatroom where users can post anything they want or feel. However, posts are moderated to keep the content user-friendly at the end of the day. People can post things about different places or events that they’ve been to which can be like reviews. Under this category are three tabs: wall; map; and photos.

Music has a list of local artists’ songs available for play but not downloading. There is an option to buy the music tracks from within the app, although it will direct you to an external website to complete your purchase. Most of the music tracks are singles made available by Zambian musicians for purposes of sampling only. Therefore, it is unlikely to find a whole album available for free play.

News has 10 listings: Zambia Blogs, World News, Business News, Technology News, Fashion News, Music News, Health and Fitness, Movie News, Entertainment News, Art & Creative. Be sure to catch Techtrends Zambia’s news under the Technology news heading 🙂

Accounts is where it shows you which account is linked to your Zhappening account. For instance, the Facebook icon is highlighted if you signed in with your Facebook account and the same applies to Twitter. You can view the comments you’ve made on Zhappening and also receive private messages from other Zhappening users. This makes the app qualify as a social networking platform because it permits users to interact directly with one another. Furthermore, you can invite people to be your friends and follow them. You also have access to things you liked and shared while using the app. This is a pretty neat feature which stores your personal content at the fingertips.

Top Users shows the most active users of the app compiled by the number of points accumulated from using the app. Points can be earned by inviting friends to the app, liking, sharing, and commenting on posts. Later on, these points should be able to award you with freebies, such as event tickets or gift vouchers, courtesy of Zhappening.

Video has two categories: comedy and music. Music offers a mix of Zambian music videos and other songs which are popular globally. Comedy is composed of stand-up comedy and funny video clips. This video component is powered by YouTube.

Favorites stores all the stuff that you have highlighted within the app as your favourite content.

QR is actually a QR reader/scanner which lets you scan QR codes and reveals hidden items.

Hopefully in the coming months, more cities will get added to the Zhappening app. However, the biggest challenge is that there might not be enough users interested in things happening outside of Lusaka. As a result, there must be a call to action for a city to get listed.

Another unfortunate drawback of the app is the amount of limited Zambian music available. It turns out that local musicians are not very willing to offer their music for simple flimsy reasons like the app is not yet mainstream. Little do the musicians know that the more music they offer the more publicity they get, and thus more money to be made. Consequently, the app would become mainstream.

A featured event on Zhappening
A featured event on Zhappening

Other than personal use, this app is great for businesses to announce their events and get the word out there. It can be very useful for startups or budding entrepreneurs who wish to publicise their activities in Lusaka. The Wall definitely offers a new twist to networking in Zambia from the conventional Facebook where there is just too much clutter nowadays.

The internet white noise has become unbearable, hopefully Zhappening is here to clear the air and here to stay. Windows phone and BlackBerry users do not despair as Zhappening running on those platforms is currently in the pipeline and should be deployed before the end of 2014. Hold out hope!