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2.5 m user Truecaller smartphone app in Jordan -- co-founder

AMMAN -- Users of the phone directory application Truecaller in Jordan are growing at "an excellent rate" with some 2.5 million currently using it, according to Nami Zarringhalam, the co-founder, deputy CEO and chief strategy officer of Truecaller.

  Source http://goo.gl/SsBYQF

"We find users in Jordan are tech savvy and curious, and they want to try out new products. We have been seeing excellent growth in Jordan as a result and managed to increase our user base by 191 per cent over last year," Zarringhalam told The Jordan Times in an e-mail interview on Wednesday.

Truecaller has a prominent presence in the Middle East and North Africa across 18 countries with over 17.5 million users, and has seen a 200 per cent growth as of May 2014 in comparison to the same period last year, he said.Truecaller currently has 65 million users globally.

Zarringhalam attributed the rise in number of Truecaller users in Jordan to the increased adoption of smartphones.

"We definitely see a strong correlation in growth of smartphone penetration and usage of Truecaller in Jordan. Considering that around 50 per cent of mobiles used in Jordan are smartphones, according to industry estimates such as the one by Arab Advisers Group, this is a good sign for Truecaller in order to drive penetration," he noted.

The biggest reason for Truecaller's rapid growth in Jordan and the Middle East is that "we solve a major pain point for mobile users in the form of spam and not knowing who is calling them," Zarringhalam added.

Truecaller users in the Kingdom use the application's search feature, which helps them look for any number in the world whether it is a landline, mobile or pre-paid number.

"Truecaller users can also search for names (only if they are in your social circle). When you request for somebody's contact information, an SMS will be sent to the person asking if [they] want to share the information or not. The person will have the choice of sharing his/her contact details, decline or block that user from ever contacting him/her again," he said.

The second most popular usage of the application among Jordanians is checking the caller ID, as Truecaller enables users to know who is trying to get in touch with them by instantly identifying the caller before they pick up, even if the number is a landline, mobile or pre-paid, Zarringhalam added.

This feature is only available for Android, BlackBerry, Symbian S60 and Nokia X devices, he noted.

Truecaller users in the country also use the app to block spam callers as it gives them immediate access to an expansive list of top spammers, allowing them to quickly block calls from all numbers reported as spam.

Voicing optimism about the future of the application in the region, the co-founder said: "We see this region as a strong growth opportunity given such high smartphone penetration which is set to scale up even further in the future."

Truecaller is keen on exploring potential partnerships and alliances in the Jordanian market, he said.

"We are very happy with our partnership with Umniah, which we signed at the end of 2013. As part of this, Umniah customers can enquire about telephone numbers through the service, whether they are national or international callers.

"Subscribers can send unlisted numbers to Umniah's call centre via SMS and customer care will respond with an automated message containing the caller's identity obtained from Truecaller's directory," Zarringhalam explained.

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