Mizzima Business Weekly - - CONTENTS - By Ko Ko Gyi

MyChat, a free mo­bile mes­sag­ing ap­pli­ca­tion cre­ated for Myan­mar users, soared to a lead­ing mar­ket po­si­tion within days of its launch, prod­uct de­vel­oper MySQUAR said in a news re­lease.

MyChat was launched on Au­gust 27 and on Septem­ber 10 was num­ber one on a Google Play list of the top free new app downloads and fourth on a list of free downloads in Myan­mar, the re­lease said

MySQUAR chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Linda Lim said MyChat's rapid take-up in the mar­ket was due to character stick­ers and emoti­cons de­signed to ap­peal to Myan­mar users.

More than 1,000 of the stick­ers were sent within 24 hours of MyChat's launch, said the news re­lease, is­sued on Septem­ber 10.

“MyChat is tai­lored for Myan­mar youth with lo­calised lan­guage, au­then­tic look and feel and lo­calised stick­ers,” Ms Lim told Mizzima Business Weekly in an email in­ter­view on Septem­ber 15.

“We be­lieve that this cus­tomised


| SEPTEM­BER 25 | 2014 ex­pe­ri­ence is res­onat­ing with our au­di­ence, and that is re­flected in the Google Play reviews,” she said.

The Myan­mar di­as­pora means the au­di­ence reaches far beyond the coun­try's bor­ders.

MyChat was down­loaded by users in Thai­land, Malaysia, Viet­nam, South Korea and the United States within two weeks of the launch, the re­lease said.

The MyChat ap­pli­ca­tion in­cludes Myan­mar stick­ers based on iconic char­ac­ters such as the danc­ing cou­ple with. para­sols, U Shwe Yoe and Daw Moe, favourites with Myan­mar au­di­ences in stage per­for­mances, and tra­di­tional dolls Pho Wa Yoke and Pho Thar Htoo.

Stick­ers of U Shwe Yoe and Daw Moe were the most popular, with stick­ers of Pho Thar Htoo and Pho Wa Yoke sec­ond and third re­spec­tively in pop­u­lar­ity, the re­lease said.

My Chat will con­tinue to de­velop the prod­uct and keep it rel­e­vant to its au­di­ence, Ms Lim said.

“We will look to Myan­mar his­tory, cul­ture and iconic char­ac­ters for on­go­ing in­no­va­tion in de­sign­ing au­then­tic Myan­mar sticker sets,” she said.

“Chal­lenges for MyChat as with most apps in the in­dus­try in­clude grow­ing the user base by ap­ply­ing the right sales and mar­ket­ing, op­er­a­tional and tech­ni­cal strate­gies and tac­tics.”

MyChat is among sev­eral prod­ucts de­vel­oped by MySQUAR, which de­vel­oped Myan­mar's first Myan­mar-lan-

guage con­tent pro­gram. The oth­ers in­clude the MySo­cial so­cial net­work, My­S­tore, a one-stop store for apps, and MySQUAR games.

Asked if there were plans to add a voice ap­pli­ca­tion ser­vice on MyChat, Ms Lim said MySQUAR was “al­ways work­ing to pro­vide the best pos­si­ble prod­uct ex­pe­ri­ence for our cus­tomers and will lever­age in­sights and feed­back from the com­mu­nity for fu­ture fea­tures”.

“MySQUAR will con­tinue to de­velop lo­cally rel­e­vant prod­ucts for Myan­mar youth, and longer-term support for an eco-sys­tem that will support lo­cal de­vel­op­ers and eCom­merce mer­chants,” she said.

Ms Lim ex­pressed ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the support MySQUAR has at­tracted from in­vestors.

“We've been very heart­ened by the support we've re­ceived from a num­ber of in­vestors, though as a pri­vate company we are not able to dis­close that in­for­ma­tion,” she said.

MySQUAR is the redesigned brand and logo launched in Fe­bru­ary of the company pre­vi­ously known as SQUAR.

“The new di­rec­tion in brand­ing re­flected our company's jour­ney in shap­ing the on­line fu­ture of Myan­mar while con­nect­ing the land, the lan­guage and the peo­ple of Myan­mar,” Ms Lim told Mizzima Business Weekly in an email on Septem­ber 18.

“As we ex­panded our prod­ucts and ser­vices in Myan­mar beyond our first prod­uct, the SQUAR so­cial net­work, we wanted to cre­ate an iden­tity that was mean­ing­ful to both us as well as the peo­ple of Myan­mar, one that would re­flect the cul­ture, op­por­tu­nity and unique­ness of this coun­try,” she said.

“MySQUAR con­nects the company to the coun­try through Myan­mar's two-let­ter coun­try code, MY. The redesigned logo is sim­ple yet bold with the new gold and pur­ple colour pal­ette pay­ing homage to the vi­brant and colour­ful cul­ture of the ‘Golden Land'.”

MySQUAR has of­fices Ho Chi Minh City, Viet­nam, as well as Yan­gon.

Cel­e­brat­ing suc­cess ... MySQUAR ex­ec­u­tives, from left: Han Tun Lwin, prod­uct man­ager; David Ros­sel­lat, chief tech­nol­ogy of­fi­cer; Linda Lim, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer; and San Lin, di­rec­tor, business de­vel­op­ment. Photo: Lwin Maung Maung

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