Simple, secure and seamless messaging

Ayoba is a free messaging app for your Android mobile phone.
Chat to your friends, transfer money, and much more!

Download for free directly from our website

No data charges for download on selected networks. Find out more.

When prompted, click on “Trust” during installation.

Download now

Download from Google Play store

You will incur standard data charges for the download.

 

10 great reasons to use Ayoba

Free to use

Ayoba is free to use. You need data to send messages and files to your contacts, but some networks (e.g. MTN) may provide this data for free too.

Quick connect

Use your existing address book to quickly and easily connect you with your contacts.

Chat now

Instantly send and receive text and voice messages with any of your contacts.

Chat with everyone

Send SMS text messages with anyone in your contact list, regardless of whether they’ve installed Ayoba or not

Group chat

The more the merrier! Set up group chats to easily communicate with friends and family in a single chat.

Sharing is caring

Share videos, images, audio, and other files with your
contacts.

Calls

Make calls within the app using your voice connection.

Secure

End-to-end encryption means that messages in a conversation cannot be read by anyone else.

Let’s Meet

Share your real-time location with your Ayoba contacts.

Money transfers

Make and receive payments via Mobile Money.
(COMING SOON)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Start up / Getting started

Support

If you require assistance or want to contact the Ayoba Team, please go to ayoba.me/contact

Download and Installation:

How do I download Ayoba?

  • ayoba.me/download – (free data); or

You can visit the Ayoba website to download the app at any time, If you are an MTN user you will be able to download Ayoba for free, without using your data.

  • Google Play store

You can also download Ayoba from the Google Play Store. simply open the Play Store, search Ayoba and download to start using Ayoba.

How do I update Ayoba?

Ayoba can be updated on the Google Play store or

The Ayoba App is currently only available for Android phones (other versions coming soon!). To update, go to the Google Play Store, then tap Menu > My apps & games. Tap UPDATE next to Ayoba! Free Instant Messaging.

Alternatively, go to Play Store and search for Ayoba. Tap UPDATE under Ayoba! Free Instant Messaging.

On the Ayoba website

You can also update your Ayoba app on our website, simply visit ayoba.me/download

How do I reinstall Ayoba?

In order to re-install the Ayoba app, you first need to delete it from your phone. Before you do so, we suggest you backup your chats. Simply tap on the menu button, then select Settings, then tap on Maintenance and select Chat Backup.  

This will securely backup your chats into the Cloud, and allow you to restore your chat history if need be. Note that your backups are not stored locally on your device, and so you will need access to the internet to make a backup.

Please follow these steps to delete and reinstall Ayoba:

Option 1:

  • Touch and hold the Ayoba icon on the Home Screen until the icons start to wiggle
  • Tap the X in the corner of the Ayoba icon
  • Tap Delete to remove the application and all of its data
  • Press the Home button
  • Re-download Ayoba from the Google Play Store.
  • Restore your Chat Backup by tapping the menu button, then select Settings, then tap on Maintenance and select Chat Backup, and restore.
  • You can also visit the Ayoba website to download the reinstall the app at any time. If you are an MTN user you will be able to download Ayoba for free*, without using your data. *During the promotional period

Option 2:

  • Touch and hold the Ayoba icon on the Home Screen and drag and drop it in the trash can/Uninstall bin
    • Select uninstall to confirm the deletion to remove the application and all of its data
    • Press the Home button
    • Re-download Ayoba from the Google Play Store.
  • Restore your Chat Backup by tapping the menu button, then select Settings, then tap on Maintenance and select Chat Backup, and restore.
  • You can also visit the Ayoba website to download the reinstall the app at any time. If you are an MTN user you will be able to download Ayoba for free*, without using your data. *During the promotional period

Verification:

How do I verify my number?

Once you have downloaded the app, open it and follow these steps:

  1. Enter your Name
  2. Choose your country from the drop-down list. This will automatically fill your country code
  3. Enter your phone number in the box below
  4. Tap verify to request a code
  5. Enter the 6-digit code you receive via SMS.

I didn’t receive the 6-digit code by SMS

  • Wait for the countdown timer to finish and select Send SMS again.
  • Don’t guess the code, or you will be locked out for a period of time.

If the issues persist, please try the following:

  • Reboot your phone (To reboot your phone, turn it off, wait for 30 seconds, and turn it back on).
  • Delete and reinstall the latest version of Ayoba.

If the issues persist, please try the following:

  • Reboot your phone (To reboot your phone, turn it off, wait for 30 seconds, and turn it back on).
  • Delete and reinstall the latest version of Ayoba.

Can I use Ayoba on two devices?

Your Ayoba account can only be verified with one number on one device. If you have a dual SIM phone, please note that you still must choose one number to verify with Ayoba. There is no option to have an Ayoba account with two phone numbers.

Do I need to register again if I uninstall and reinstall the app?

No, you don’t. All you need to do is download Ayoba from the Google Play Store again or from ayoba.me/download. Enter your name, select your country from the drop-down menu, enter your phone number and select verify.

Note: if you have backed up your chat history before deleting the app and reinstalling it, your chat history will be automatically restored.

Using Ayoba

Account and Profile management

How do add or update my Profile photo?

If you have not yet selected a profile image:

  1. Open the menu on the top left of the app
  2. Tap the edit icon  
  3. Tap the profile photo > Camera icon
  4. Choose a photo from your gallery to use as your profile photo

If you already have an existing profile photo:

  1. Open the menu on the top left of the app
  2. Tap your profile photo or the edit icon
  3. If selecting the edit icon, then tap your profile pic > camera icon
  4. Choose a photo from your gallery to change your current profile photo

Can I update my Display Name?

  1. Open the menu  on the top left of the app
  2. Tap your Display Name or the edit icon and then edit or add your new display name

How do I add or update my Status?

  1. Open the menu on the top left of the app
  2. Tap your status or the edit icon   
  3. Add a new status and select the tick icon to confirm, or select a status from the list of your previous statuses.

Note: If you block a contact, that person will not be able to see your profile photo or your status updates.

How do I delete my account?

There are a few simple steps to follow if you decide to delete your account. Note that this process cannot be reversed under any circumstances, even by the Ayoba team, so please be sure that this is something you want to do.

Follow these four steps:

  1. Open the Ayoba app
  2. Open the menu on the top left of the app
  3. Top Settings > Maintenance > Delete your account
  4. Confirm by pressing OK

Deleting your account will:

  • Permanently delete your Ayoba account
  • Erase your message history
  • Immediately remove you from all of your Ayoba groups

Some important things to note:

  • You will not be able to access to your account
  • Deleting your account doesn’t affect the information other users have relating to you, such as their copy of the messages you sent them
  • Copies of some material (e.g. log records) may remain in our database but are disassociated from personal identifiers.

Can I use Ayoba on my new phone?  

If you’re moving from one type of phone to another and keeping your number, you’ll keep your account info. Your account information is tied to the phone number. Simply download Ayoba on the new phone and verify your number.

If you’re moving from one type of phone to another and not preserving your number, download Ayoba on the new phone and verify the new phone number.

How do I change the language on Ayoba?

To change your phone’s language:

Android: Go to your phone’s Settings > System > Languages & input > Languages. Tap and select a language.

If you’re using an Android phone, you can also change Ayoba’s language from within the app. To do so simply tap the menu and select Settings and tap on Maintenance.

Pricing / Costs

Ayoba User Costs

How much does it cost to send message or media files on Ayoba?

Ayoba uses your phone’s Internet connection (4G/3G/2G/EDGE or Wi-Fie) to send and receive messages to your friends and family. The cost of the data used to send and receive messages will depend on the subscription you have with your service provider. You should also ensure that you haven’t exceeded your data limit. Alternatively, you can also use Ayoba while you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network, which may be free.

Ayoba has partnered with MTN, Africa’s largest mobile operator, to provide free* Ayoba data for MTN customers (subject to fair usage policies). This means that MTN customers will be able to send and receive text messages, audio, video, images and files within the Ayoba app without incurring any additional data costs.

*During the promotional period

How much does it cost to make voice calls using Ayoba?

You can make voice calls from the Ayoba app to any of your Ayoba contacts. The call will be charged as a standard voice call and uses your available airtime or minutes available. Importantly, making a call within the app does not use data and is not free.

Pricing for users not on Ayoba.

Do I need to have the Ayoba app to send and receive messages from friends and family who are using Ayoba?

Ayoba works best when you’re communicating with someone else who also has Ayoba on their phone. That said, we have made a special effort to be inclusive of everyone, and unlike other messaging apps, you can chat to anyone regardless of whether they have the Ayoba app or not.

Messages sent via Ayoba to your contacts who don’t have the Ayoba app, will be delivered to your contact(s) as SMS text messages, and will include links to view images or files in their browser.

In most countries, our partnership with MTN means that if your contact is an MTN subscriber, they can respond to your message using SMS and you will receive that response seamlessly in your Ayoba app. Our partnership with MTN also means that all of these SMS replies will be free to send.

However, if your contact is not an MTN subscriber, they will still be able to receive your messages from Ayoba via SMS text, but will not be able to reply to the message received . They will be informed of this limitation. The best solution at this time is for your contact to download the Ayoba app.

What does it cost if I don’t have the Ayoba App on my device?

If you’re an MTN user and you don’t have the Ayoba app on your phone you can still reply to SMS text message received from an Ayoba user and your SMS response will be free.

If you are a non-MTN user you will receive Ayoba messages via SMS text but you will not be able to respond. Enjoy the full Ayoba experience by downloading the app from the Play Store or at ayoba.me/download.

Zero-rated data is provided for a promotional period and fair usage policies may apply.

If you are an MTN user you can download Ayoba for free, right now at ayoba.me/download.  Or you can visit the Google Play Store

Security

Is it safe using Ayoba?  

To keep your data safe and ensure your privacy, Ayoba  incorporates sophisticated end-to-end encryption. This ensures that only you and the person (or people) you’re communicating with can read what is sent. Nobody else can read your messages, not even the team at Ayoba.

It goes without saying that we will never share your details with third-parties without your permission. You can manage your Privacy settings within the app by selecting Messaging from the Settings menu, and then tapping on Privacy. We also recommend you review our Privacy policy at ayoba.me/termsandconditions.

Lost and stolen phones

My phone was lost or stolen, what do I need to do now?

  • If your phone is lost or stolen, we can help you secure your Ayoba account from unauthorised use. Please follow the steps below
  • We also recommend that you call your mobile provider as soon as possible to lock your SIM card and prevent your phone being used by someone else. While your SIM is locked, you will not be able to verify your Ayoba account with that number, since you would need to receive an SMS to complete verification.

Two options available:

  • Use a new SIM card with the same number to activate Ayoba on your new phone. This is the fastest way to deactivate your account on the stolen phone. Ayoba can only be activated with one phone number on one device at a time.
  • Contact us on Ayoba.me/help and fill out the feedback form with the phrase “Lost/Stolen phone in the heading. Please deactivate my account” and include your phone number in full international format as described here.

Note:

It is important to remember that even if your SIM card is locked, if someone can access your phone and the Ayoba app, it could still be used on a Wi-Fi network. The Ayoba team does not have the ability to remotely deactivate Ayoba. So we recommend that you contact us with an account deactivation request as soon as possible.

Note that the Ayoba team does not have access to your phone location and we are unable to help you locate your phone. Your phone may have an app which can help you do this from another device.

If you did a chat backup before your phone went missing, you might be able to restore your chat history.

  • Backups are made automatically every 24 hours, using  an internet connection.
  • Users cannot enable or disable the backup process. 
  • Users, can only create  a new backup by clicking on: “Menu” > “Settings” > “Maintenance” > “Chat Backup”.
  • Each account has one backup, when you create a new Chat Backup, your previous backup will be replaced.
  • Backups are only restored after the sign in/ up process! Just after the OTP validation.  

Your Safety

Can I report inappropriate content?

We always want to ensure your safety, please report any inappropriate content or behaviour at ayoba.me/contact, and select the “Report inappropriate content” option. We will investigate and take action if need be.

Note that we may be unable to share the results of our investigations with you, but rest assured that we take all such reports very seriously.

Can I register a complaint against another user?

We prioritise the safety of our users and we do not accept abusive behaviour by our users. Please go to ayoba.me/contact, and select the “Report a user” option. We will investigate and take action if need be.

Note that we may be unable to share the results of our investigations with you but rest assured that we take all such reports very seriously.

Chatting on Ayoba

Can I share the contact details of my contacts using Ayoba?

Yes you can! Use the + (new chat icon) to start a new chat, then tap the attachment icon, now you can select Contact, then simply tap on the contact you want to share.

Can I send images using Ayoba?

Share your favourite selfies and photos easily with Ayoba. Use the + (new chat icon) to start a new chat, then tap the attachment icon, then select Gallery to select images from your library. You can also tap on Camera to take a photo and share it immediately.

Can I share my location using Ayoba?

Share your location with your contacts by simply tapping the + (new chat icon) to start a new chat, then tap the attachment icon and select Location.

Can I send voice messages via Ayoba?

You can send a short voice message to another Ayoba user by simply tapping the Microphone icon at the bottom right corner of your chat screen. You can also create a new chat message using the + (new chat icon) then tap the attachment icon and select Audio, then tap the Microphone icon and record your message.

I need to send a file or document, can I use Ayoba?

Send files by tapping the + (new chat icon) to start a new chat, then tap the attachment icon then select File. Now browse your device, select the file and share it with your contacts.

How do I reply to messages?

Tap on the message you would like to view. To reply, simply tap in the compose bar at the bottom of the screen then type your reply and hit send. Easy as that.

Can I share or forward messages to my Ayoba contacts?

You can forward messages, audio files, images and contacts by tapping and holding on the message you would like to forward, then tap the forward arrow at the top right-hand corner of your screen, then select the contact you would like to share the message with and hit send. Content will be marked as “Forwarded”. You will also receive a notification indicating that the message has been forwarded.

How do I delete old or unwanted messages?

Simply tap and hold on the message in the chat screen, then select the trash bin icon at the top of the screen and finally confirm your selection.

Can I move my chats to an archive list?

No, Ayoba does not have a way to move chats to an archive list (at the moment). If you want to remove a chat from your chat list, you can do so by deleting it, although this is a permanent deletion and you will not be able to retrieve it later.

Can I sort my chats in different ways?

Your chats are always sorted according to most recent, these chats appear at the top of the list. You cannot change this sorting method in Ayoba (at the moment).

How do I delete chats?

In the main Ayoba screen, tap and hold on the chat you want to delete, then select the trash bin icon at the top of the screen, and confirm your selection.

How do I create a group chat and invite my contacts?

Tap the new chat button + and select the NEW GROUP option, then add the contacts you want to include in your group chat. Now all you have to do is start the conversation.

What if I want to leave a group chat?

You can exit any group chat at any time by simply tapping on the group chat icon at the top of your chat screen and then selecting the LEAVE GROUP button, and then confirm your selection.

What if I want to delete a group chat?

To delete a group chat simply tap and hold on the group chat in the main screen, then select the trash bin icon and confirm your selection. You can also choose to leave the group at this time.

If you delete a group chat, you will only delete the group messages from your own device, and will not delete the chat for other members of the group.

What does the Group Owner do?

The group owner can create a group, add and delete members

Can I make someone else the Group Owner?

Control cannot be transferred to another person

Can we have more than one Group Owner?

You can’t have multiple people as owners

I have been added to a group, can I see previous chat?

If you have been added to a group, you will not be able to see any previous messages and chat prior to your joining the group

What if I need to restore my chat history?

Backups are made automatically every 24 hours, only if you have an internet connection. You will not be able or disable the automatic backup process. 

You will be able to force the creation of a new backup by tapping the Menu bar, select Settings, then Maintenance and then Chat Backup. This will securely backup your chats into the cloud, and allow you to restore your chat history if need be.

To restore your Chat Backup by tapping the menu button, then select Settings, then tap on Maintenance and select Chat Backup, and restore.

Note that your backups are not stored locally on your device, and so you will need access to the internet to make a backup.

Can I enable Auto Download of files sent to me?

The Auto Download feature is OFF by default. If you want to automatically download images and videos that you receive in Ayoba, you can turn Auto Download ON. You can enable the Auto Download feature by selecting the main menu, then tap on Media and then configure your auto download to suit your needs. We recommend that you keep this turned off if you have limited data.

Chatting to non-Ayoba users

Can I chat to people that don’t have the Ayoba App?

You can send messages via Ayoba to anyone, even if they do not have the app on their device. Messages sent to people who haven’t downloaded and registered on Ayoba will be received as SMS text messages and will include links to view other files and content if applicable.

We have partnered with MTN, which means that MTN subscribers will be able to respond to Ayoba SMS messages using SMS, for free, even if they do not have the Ayoba app installed on their device. Non-MTN subscribers will receive messages from Ayoba as SMS text messages, but will not be able to respond. We recommend that non-MTN subscribers download the free Ayoba app from ayoba.me/download or the Google Play Store

Can I add contacts, even if they are not using Ayoba?

When creating a new chat, tap on the menu in the top right-hand corner. Then enable Show SMS contacts. You will now be able to view all your contacts, even those who are not using the Ayoba App.

If any of those contacts download the Ayoba app and register with the phone number listed in your contacts app, the Ayoba app will automatically update their status to reflect that they will be able to interact as a full Ayoba user.

Can I send images or files to contacts who have not downloaded the Ayoba app?

You can send images, videos, and links to contacts who have not downloaded the Ayoba app. These contacts will receive an SMS notification which will include a link to view the content. Note that viewing and/or downloading the content may incur data charges by the network provider.

I have received an Ayoba message, but I don’t have the app. Can I still view the message?

You can view text messages and files sent from an Ayoba user via Ayoba, even if you haven’t yet downloaded the free Ayoba app. We have partnered with MTN, which means that MTN subscribers will be able to respond to Ayoba SMS messages using SMS, for free, even if they do not have the Ayoba app installed on their device. Non-MTN subscribers will receive messages from Ayoba as an SMS, but will not be able to respond. We recommend that non-MTN subscribers download the free Ayoba app from ayoba.me/download or the Google Play Store

Managing your contacts

How do I add a contact?

Simply add the contact number to your phone’s contacts. Once you have created a new contact you can open the Ayoba app, tap the new message icon + and select the contact you want to chat with.

The Ayoba app will automatically detect whether that contact has already downloaded and registered their phone number with Ayoba. If not, they will appear as an SMS contact within Ayoba.

How do I delete contacts?

You can delete contacts as you would normally, through your phone’s contact application. Open your phone’s contact list, tap the contact’s name and then tap the menu in the top right-hand corner. Select delete, and confirm your selection.

How do I block a contact?

You can block a contact within Ayoba by simply a chat and then tapping the menu icon in the top right-hand corner. Select Block, then confirm your action. Once you have blocked a contact you can no longer receive messages or content from that contact and he/she not be able to see your status. You will still be able to see the contact in your contact list, but will be marked as “Blocked”. If you wish to send and receive messages from a blocked contact you will have to unblock the contact.

We want to ensure your safety at all times, so please report any inappropriate content or behaviour at ayoba.me/contact, or refer to our <Security FAQ section> here

How do I unblock a blocked contact?

You can unblock a previously blocked contact by creating a new chat using the + icon, select the contact, use the menu in the top right corner and tap Unblock, then confirm your action. Now you will once again be able to chat with this contact, this contact will also be able to send new messages and reply to your messages and see your status.

How do I make a voice call on Ayoba?

You can make voice calls from the Ayoba app to any of your Ayoba contacts. The call will be charged as a standard voice call and uses your available airtime or minutes available. Importantly, making a call within the app does not use data and is not free. To make a voice call using Ayoba, tap the + (new chat icon) and then tap the phone icon to make a voice call.

Contact Us

About Ayoba

Ayoba is a free instant messaging app, designed by Africans for Africans.

Although Africa is one continent, it is home to hundreds of unique cultures. We celebrate the diversity of Africa by providing a world-class messaging platform that reflects local needs and aspirations.

From the outset, Ayoba has incorporated sophisticated end-to-end encryption to keep our users’ data safe and ensure their privacy. This means that messages in a conversation cannot be read by anyone else, not even the team at Ayoba.

Our inclusive approach to technology means that Ayoba users will be able to communicate with anyone with a mobile device, even if they don’t have the Ayoba app yet.

Currently, Ayoba is available for download to anyone with an Android mobile phone (support for other platforms and devices coming soon!). In addition, we have a strategic partnership with MTN, which means we can offer free* Ayoba data for all MTN subscribers when they send messages, images, videos and other media to their contacts. In addition, any responses to Ayoba messages will also be free* for MTN subscribers, regardless of whether they are using the app.

What’s next for Ayoba

We have a number of exciting innovations planned for the next few months as we expand our service across Africa. This includes being able to send and receive money within Ayoba, to contacts in Africa, through Mobile Money.

Ayoba is not just an ordinary messaging app. Download Ayoba today and experience it for yourself.