Putting African movies in your palm


Nigerian based Fans Connect Online (FCO), a digital marketing, social media and mobile application (app) development company, recently launched Afrinolly, a mobile app that gives users access to African movie trailers, music videos, online comedy, celebrity updates, gossip and the latest entertainment news.

Afrinolly was inspired by an idea from a speaker at Google’s G-Nigeria conference in 2011 says FCO CEO Chike Maduegbuna.

“At the two day conference, Aneto Okonkwo of Google charged the participants to pay attention to African entertainment and develop a product that will be relevant for such a growing industry. That was what inspired us to build Afrinolly,’ he states.

The mobile app is currently available as a free download on Android, BlackBerry and Nokia operating systems but plans are in place to develop Afrinolly for Smart TV; iPhone Operating System (iOS) and Windows Phone.

Afrinolly was built on the Android platform using the Android Development Tools (ADT) plugin for Eclipse. Data is passed between the application on the phone and the server using JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) with the help of the GSON Java library. The ImageLoader library makes it easy for the application to download and display images. FCO also incorporated Intents to integrate with the YouTube player on the phone.

“Our primary objective is to give as many people as possible an opportunity to download and use Afrinolly on many devices,’ says Maduegbuna. “Samsung Nigeria has pre-installed Afrinolly in its Galaxy Note and it will soon be available on Samsung South Africa’s Android market. Nokia Nigeria has also pre-installed Afrinolly in its Asha Series phones and is currently collaborating with MTN Nigeria on a data plan bundling.’

Afrinolly, which won Google’s Android Developers Challenge for Sub-Saharan Africa in 2011, has been likened to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) mobile apps.
“Such a comparison is both a compliment and motivation,’ comments Maduegbuna. “IMDb is a massive institution and their app is world class – we learnt a lot from them. Africa’s entertainment industry needs such an institution and we hope to replicate a part of what IMDb does for the African continent.’


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