News24 wanted to expand its service offering by developing aggregated loadshedding schedules across the country. According to Cathryn Reece, head of product development at 24.com, they wanted to present data in a “clean, unambiguous” way.
Development started in January 2015. Obtaining accurate data schedules from various municipalities and Eskom, and putting it in a universal format was challenging, says Bjorn Moyo, product and marketing assistant at 24.com. “As time went on we found that we were having issues ensuring that the data we had reflected what the user was experiencing in their homes or workplaces,” he says.
Users complained that not enough advance warning was given, mostly because Eskom implemented load-shedding without informing affected areas. There was a surge in users, which resulted in some delays with push notifications reaching them, says Reece. It resulted in developers doing an overhaul of the current push notification system, adds Moyo. The push notifications now give a 30 minute warning before an area gets load-shedding, he says.
The uptake of the app has been “outstanding”, says Moyo. It has more