Recap of #GNigeria and the New Products Unveiled

Marinna, Lagos. Credit: Jesse oguntimehin

#GNigeria events are events where Google invites the developer community and those who use Google products and are interesting in using it as a tool for building their business. In one word, I think the Google events are purely a marketing event.

Does that make is a worthless program to attend? No way.

On the first day there were some announcements.

Previously Google had allowed those who are Google App customers to have access to Google talk to SMS. On the first day of GNigeria, the product was launched for everyone. Folks who are using Globacom, Airtel, MTN, Visafone and Starcomms can now receive Chat messages and reply from their phone via SMS.

Demo of the SMS chat. Credit: Jesse Oguntimehin

According to what Lola Masha, a Googler told me, the chat has to be initiated by the person on Google Talk. One the chat is initiated; the other person can hit on reply and be charged only standard SMS rates. It is free for those sending message from desktop—they have access to fifty messages. Each time you get a reply to the message you initiated from Google Talk, you get five credits messages.

Just like on Twitter, one can also update his/her Google Plus status via SMS now. This was initially available for US and India only. It is also one of the services that were announced during the G|Nigeria day. I tried it and it worked. All you have to do is click the set up wheel icon in your Google Plus profile and click Google+ settings.

Google Trader was another product that was launched. Before the official launch, Google product has been operational and the ad has been on the web. I have been able to sell two items via Google trader myself and a host of people are already using it. There is an opportunity for an individual to integrate his personal profile into Google trader in case the buyer wants to check and validate some sort before deciding.

The presentation that got to me the most was on the second day. It was the session about Google App for Education. What I find very interesting about it is the fact that this service is made available for free to the universities. Google App for education is already being integrated in a few schools; University of Nigeria, University of Lagos, University of Benin and Covenant University.

Leveraging on the Google App for Education they can get a domain for the school and integrate it will the entire available product on the Google app. Those products are: email, calendar, contact, Google docs, sites (allows them to create websites), Google moderator and Google Plus. Imagine the possibilities for collaboration with the robust features of the Google Docs. Having this service up and running in more schools can help raise the standard of learning. Google is not just providing this service, but are also partnering with ISPs to have internet access installed in schools.

Google is very much interested in this project as they are using it as a way to push the adoption of Google products. They will be training individuals to become certified at helping schools adopt and deploy Google App. There is an opportunity here for those who want to earn money as consultants.

I have initially shared a total review of the day two event at GNigeria. This piece does justice to the products that were launched.

Someone said this after observing how Google is working to make itself relevant in Africa: Know Google, know business. No Google, No Business. Do you agree?

Written by Robert

Respected Kenyan blogger, tech evangelist, and social justice activist. Robert is known for his hard-hitting articles and opinions disseminated through his Twitter handle @RobertAlai or Facebook page (

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