Are Delivery Apps The New Frontier in App Development in Kenya?

The discussion around app development in Kenya before Covid-19 was about loan apps. Everyone was concerned about the interest rates and the need to regulate digital lenders.

Kenyans were complaining about the recovery process and threats for defaulting on small amounts. Then came Covid-19 and the discussion changed.

The restriction of movement has led to creative ideas and innovation.

Increase in demand for courier services

Staying at home or working from home has been on top of the list of precautionary measures. This means that firms had to figure out a way of delivering their products to their clients to stay in business.

Unfortunately, the crisis was unexpected and its effects on businesses unpredictable.

The wait and see approach does not work for a business that sells perishable products. At the same time, most of the businesses did not have their own courier services before the crisis.

The result has been a sudden increase in the demand for courier services.

Glovo and Uber are among the tech firms that have benefited from the demand for services.

The challenge has been keeping up with the demand from individuals and companies while protecting the drivers from Covid-19.

Luckily, the Ministry of Health provided sufficient guidelines on how to prevent the spread of the disease.

Restaurants and fast foods

Restaurants and fast food joints have experienced perhaps the worst effects of the health crisis.

The government was quick to shut down social places because of the crowds they attract.

How do such firms stay afloat without allowing customers into their premises? Courier services have been the answer.

Customers can order food online. The restaurants then organize the delivery process.

Many such businesses have been operating without a mobile or online store. The much they do is advertise their business on social media.

Covid-19 has pushed business owners to start thinking about app development in Kenya.

The discussion now is not just about a business app but a delivery app as well.

Kenyans are quick to spot such opportunities in the market.

App Development in Kenya

Jumia and Twiga foods

We have known Jumia to sell all types of household products but not groceries. However, the pandemic has made shopping for even basic items like groceries a risk.

The recent partnership between Jumia and Twiga foods has solved the equation for Kenyans.

Shoppers can buy groceries on the e-commerce platform alongside other items.

The groceries are pre-packaged and include items that every home needs such as potatoes, tomatoes, milk, and fruits among other items.

In addition, customers save on the cost of these items. The partners promise up to 50% savings based on the prices of the products in local supermarkets

Another benefit is the same-day delivery within Nairobi and its suburbs at no extra cost.

Although Covid-19 has fuelled such partnerships and innovation, the deals are likely to continue even after the crisis.

Similar deals among other firms are likely to come up as Kenyan shoppers have already adapted to online shopping.

Uber

You mention Uber and taxis come to mind immediately. Uber Eats is still growing in Kenya but it has come in handy during the crisis.

Taxi apps have formed a huge part of app development in Kenya, after Uber, Taxify, and Bolt hit the market.

However, with the instructions to stay at home, the demand for taxi services has reduced.

Uber introduced two apps in response to the Covid-19 crisis. The move was unimaginable to many business owners who have been forced to downscale their operations.

The first app was Uber Connect, which enables families and friends to send packages to different cities.

With social distancing, delivering simple packages like documents, clothes, gifts, or house items is impossible.

Uber Connect deliveries packages without endangering the lives of senders, couriers, and recipients.

The second app that the tech company released is Uber Direct, which is an extension of its food app, Uber Eats.

Uber Direct poses competition to Jumia because it delivers household items and groceries from supermarkets.

The edge that Jumia and Twiga have over Uber Direct is competitive prices.

The two companies have also built a strong brand in the delivery of products in the Kenyan market.

Sendy couriers

Dominating the logistics market

Many developers and innovators have been responding to the crisis by creating apps around it.

Most Coronavirus or Covid-19 apps focus on notifying users of their distance from an infected person. Other apps help health care workers to handle the disease efficiently through accurate and timely data.

What happens after the crisis? Will we still need the apps?

Some innovators are seeing the light! There is a new frontier in the field of logistics.

It may take some time before the coronavirus threat is eliminated. The arguments against its vaccines and possible treatment may delay the process further.

As mentioned, Kenyans have already adapted to the new reality. In fact, the crisis has proved to many shoppers that they can survive for weeks without going out.

With an e-commerce platform or app, businesses can serve a significant percentage of their clients online.

The challenge now remains in providing affordable, efficient, and timely delivery services.

Some companies like Kobo360 and Sendy have already identified the gap in the logistics market in Kenya and Africa.

Business owners have suffered for years in the hands of rogue truck drivers and logistics companies.

Kenyans need to wake up to the opportunities in the market instead of leaving everything to foreign companies.

The companies that started earlier have reaped extra benefits with the Covid-19 crisis. The extra income will continue until new entrants interrupt with better or differentiated courier services.

Final remarks

The worst of situations can present business opportunities for those who are keen to identify them. We have given you a hint for app development in Kenya. The big question now is if you will take action or wait for another foreign investor to take the opportunity.

A simple delivery app that all types of businesses can use is likely to attract thousands of users. Entrepreneurs have learnt from the crisis the need for current technologies and reliable logistics to cushion their enterprises.

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Mobile App Reviews: A Review of the Glovo App in Kenya

Entrepreneurs in Kenya have now mastered the art of online selling. Buyers have gained a significant level of trust in some online sellers. Kenyans are more willing than before to take risks and order for products online. The greater challenge now is delivering products in good condition to customers at the right time.

Apps like Glovo meet this need. Sacha Michaud and Oscar Pierre co-founded the Glovo Company in 2015 in Barcelona. The Spanish start-up has managed to build a competitive brand and penetrate the international market.

The concept from the start was to provide on-demand courier services to customers for all types of product. However, food delivery has overtaken other types of delivery via the app. Glovo is available in 20 countries around the world including Kenya.

Features

Glovo launched its operations in Nairobi in the first quarter of 2019. Here are the top features that users enjoy on the app:

1. Speed

You can order for anything from a supermarket, store, or restaurant and have it within minutes. Glovo emphasises on delivering anything that customers order “within minutes.” When you order for a product, the nearest courier receives the order and considers the nearest seller. The courier will buy and deliver it within the shortest time possible.

The promise to deliver within minutes has proved true in some cities and for some clients in Nairobi. While the app owners do their best to keep this promise, sometimes a delay may occur when a product is unavailable.

Sometimes the courier has to try several stores and probably wait in line to serve some orders. However, for some products that are readily available or already packed, the couriers deliver within minutes.

2. Low cost

Buying products online makes sense to customers if the delivery cost is reasonable. Otherwise, they might as well walk or drive to a store and get the products at a reasonable price. Glovo understands this concept and offers affordable courier services.

The delivery charge within Nairobi is likely to range from Ksh.50 to 100. The charge may be higher depending on your location and order. Imagine escaping the long queues in supermarkets for a hundred shillings. Some items are delivered at no cost within Nairobi’s CBD.

The cost begins to make sense when you think of the time you spend getting a good seat in a restaurant, ordering for food and drinks and then eating. You know how restaurants keep you waiting for a “special order?” Well, you can save time, order the same dish, and keep working while the food is delivered to your doorstep.

3. A wide range of services

Most people think of food delivery but the Glovo app in Kenya offers more than food. Well, food delivery is a big part of the business but you can order anything on the app. For instance, you can order for any item from a registered supermarket like Naivas.

The app is not only an opportunity for buyers to get products delivered easily and at a reasonable rate. Glovo has opened opportunities for couriers to earn from the app. Stores have an opportunity to maximise sales without worrying about deliveries.


4. Easy Ordering Process

The process of ordering an item is simple. After downloading the app, you create an account and proceed to order. You can use your Facebook account to log in. The app requests you to select your location.

You will then proceed to the next interface that shows the categories of registered partners. The best of restaurants in Nairobi’s CBD are listed on the app. Go through the menu of the items offered by each partner.

An alternative ordering process is clicking on “anything” and specifying the product you need. The app has restriction on the size and weight of the items you can order. With this option, you need to specify if the courier will pay for the item or not.

5. Tracking Orders

You can track your purchased item in real-time. In other words, you can tell the exact time when the courier will arrive at your location. Tracking is much easier than calling a delivery person every 5 minutes to find out when they will arrive.

As you track you can also tell if the courier got the directions right. You will not sit and wait for an item while the courier is moving in the opposite direction. If you have ever tried to track items with a phone call or text messages, you will appreciate the tracking feature in Glovo app in Kenya.

6. Favorite items

Let us say you like a certain dish from a specific restaurant. When you order it the first time, you can add it to your list of favourite items. The next time you log into the app to order, the app suggests your favourite items first. The list saves you minutes of scrolling through unwanted items and stores.

Also Read: Top 10 Mobile App Categories as Analysed by Android App Designers in Kenya

Customer Feedback

As app developers, we can look at the functionality of an app and recommend it based on its features. The truth is that the developers have done a great with the simplicity of design and great user experience. However, we need to consider the actual experience of customers who have ordered products via the app.

Happy users

The app has a 3.7 rating on Google Playstore. The majority of about 130,000 users that left a review after using it gave a 5-star rating. The experience is different depending on the item that a customer ordered.

Users seem to have a great experience with the interface and ordering process. The partners registered on the app offer quality products, which is important when ordering for items online. Most customers got the items they ordered for as described.

Unhappy users

The app is relatively new in the market. Although the developers say that you can order from any part of Nairobi, couriers do not deliver to some parts of the city. In addition, some customers complained that the estimated time of delivery was inaccurate.

Some customers had to wait for more than an hour to get their items. A few customers have also complained about bugs when trying to order for any item. Based on the reviews, the customer support team is slow in responding to complaints from customers.

Conclusion

Glovo App in Kenya is a game-changer in the country’s online business and logistics. The app is easy to use in terms of ordering and tracking items. The delivery time may not always be accurate. However, based on customer reviews, the couriers are doing a great job of delivering products within the shortest time possible. App developers in Kenya take the challenge to keep up with such competitive apps from international developers.

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How to Maximise App Downloads Through Social Media (Updated Guide)

As the leading software developers in Kenya, we took you through the process of generating a new app idea. You got an outstanding idea, built an app and made it available on all major stores. The big question now is, how do you maximize downloads?

You probably know that social media is an effective marketing tool. You could be using it for your business but, have you thought of the app? Many app owners miss on potential users by ignoring social media.

In this guide, we will show you how you can use different social media platforms to leverage the usage of your app. Remember that the more social platforms you engage the wider the audience you reach.

Let us know look specific platforms.

Facebook

Do you get tired of scrolling your Facebook timely? Yes? Well, social media users still think Facebook is the best way to connect. Look at the statistics on the figure below.

Figure: Active Social Media Users as of April (2019) in millions

Source: Statista

Facebook has maintained its top position as the most popular social platform. It has over 2 billion users worldwide. Facebook Messenger has over 1 billion users already.

The statistics show the potential reach when using Facebook as a marketing tool. If you target users beyond Kenya, you could reach millions or even billions of users with your app. How do you get there?

Creating an account on the social platform is just the first step. You need to keep your followers engage with relevant content. Choose high-quality images and video content with catchy captions.

Explore Facebook groups in your niche. You can start a group if none exists or engage those in relevant groups. You need not talk about your app all the time. Participating in discussions keeps your business visible.

Even with the best content and activity on the platform, you can only get so many pages likes. Facebook offers opportunities to promote your content and page. The good thing about the ads is that you can customise the audience to reach your target users only.

Instagram

Visual content sells faster than textual content on social media. Instagram is the perfect platform for pictures and images. From the statistics shared above, the platform has more than 1 billion users already.

About 70% of Instagram users are below 35 years. Hence, as you plan your Instagram marketing campaigns, think about this age group. About 60% of all Instagram users check their accounts daily.

For this platform, you need to share catchy images with a short description daily. The story feature gives you an additional platform to market your app. Most users spend time checking recent stories.

The advantage of Instagram is that you can posts several images, videos or a combination of both as your story. The story will disappear after 24 hours but your app will remain visible to users for as long.

You can also promote your content on Instagram to reach a wider audience. Target the younger audience when defining your target market. If your app targets young phone users, you have one strategy to explore.

Encourage your followers on Instagram to post their content for a prize. Contests will always attract new users to your business or brand. For instance, users can share their experience with your app through photos or videos.

You can also request screenshots of your downloaded app for a prize. Remember that users want to increase their followers as well. Hence, posting their content on your account makes them visible to a wider audience as well.

Twitter

Twitter has a relatively lower number of users compared to Facebook and Instagram. However, you cannot ignore the 300 million plus users on the platform. Look at the growth in the number of users since the first quarter of 2010:

Source: Statista

You have less characters and a limited number of pictures to share on Twitter. However, if you can keep up with daily trends, you will keep your app visible all day. Use the relevant hashtags for the day to make your tweets visible.

You can also search Twitter and discover the most relevant conversations in your niche. The conversations may not be trending at the time. However, your participation increases your visibility.

Here is another visibility strategy on Twitter. Follow influencers and participate in their conversations. Reply to their tweets and tag them in new tweets as well. One mention by an influencer with millions of followers makes your brand visible to all the followers.

Twitter has an advertising platform as well where you can promote your brand or tweets. The ads will show in all major hashtags of the day. Choose the content of your ads carefully to attract new followers.

YouTube

The demand for video content has been increasing over time. More than 87% of all marketing professional user video content and so should you. Software developers in Kenya will tell you that social media users cannot get enough of viral videos.

Consider the following statistics:

Consumers prefer YouTube videos to all other types of videos. Hence, you cannot run a social media campaign for your app without a YouTube channel. You have a potential audience of1.9 billion YouTube users.

Keep your video clips short, enticing, and relevant. The first few seconds should entice viewers to keep watching the video. Give tutorials on how to use your app in the videos.

You can also create slideshows of different features on the app. The videos are not limited to the app or your business. Think about interesting topics that are relevant to your target users.

WhatsApp

In the past, WhatsApp was an alternative way of texting and sharing files. Today, WhatsApp has become a major business tool. About 1.6 billion people have downloaded the app.

One way that businesses have been using the app for marketing is creating groups. You can invite new users to join your group and share content. Keep the content relevant and useful to retain your group members.

WhatsApp is also an excellent way of answering questions from consumers. Many would rather type in a question and get a prompt response rather than call or visit a website. In addition, the channel gives you a platform to collect feedback from actual users.

Additional tips for marketing an app on social media

1. Start marketing your app on all platforms during the development process. Do not wait until the app is launched to talk about it.

2. Gain as many followers as you can on all platforms including less popular platforms such as Snapchat or Pinterest

3. Leverage influencers on all platforms to make your app visible to their followers

4. Share live videos on Facebook, YouTube or IG TV before, during, and after the app launch

5. Use your target keywords on social media to make it easier for target users to find information about your app

Conclusion

Social media is a cost-effective method of promoting any product include a new mobile app. While still working with software developers in Kenya, get the word out about the upcoming app. You already know the features of the app. Hence, you have more than enough information to start social media campaigns before the launch. Sustain the social media campaigns even after the launch to retain acquired users and get new downloads.

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Safaricom Results in the Eyes of Software Developers in Kenya

Why would software developers in Kenya be interested in Safaricom’s financial results? Well, there are enough reasons to keep up with the performance of top companies. Investors anticipate such results for the dividend payout. Software developers see beyond the numbers.

One of the questions that arise every time Safaricom PLC announces its results is the low financial status of its clients. The company has maintained the largest share of the market since it was established 18 years ago. Other mobile services are still trying to catch up with the company’s strategies and increase their market share.

For software developers, the interest is in the products and their contribution to the company’s profits. Developers are also interested in the company’s technology and business strategy, given that many of them are entrepreneurs. Let us first look at the numbers that interest developers.

Safaricom financial year (2019) results at a glance

The telecommunication company gained 63.1b in revenues in the financial year ending 31 March 2019. One of the notable figures in the results is the contribution of Mpesa to the revenue. The platform now contributes 31.2% of the revenue.

Related: The Success Story of Mpesa in Kenya

Safaricom has been improving the Mpesa service. Today, the platform can handle about 1,200 transactions in a second. Think about this level of efficiency and processing capacity. Kenyans are still signing up for Mpesa services include new merchants.

In the reported financial year, the company registered 2.1m new customers. The total number of active Mpesa users is now 22.6m. Safaricom also introduced the Fuliza service that allows customers to overdraw their Mpesa account.

About 8.8m customers had already opted into the services within 3 months of its introduction. The transactions for the Fuliza service in the 3 months were estimated at 29 billion. Safaricom has also been building its global partnership.

Based on the results, more than 11,000 customers transact on the Mpesa-PayPal service per month. Mpesa customers are also using the service to purchase apps. The customers have purchased more than 5,200 app from Google PlayStore and paid via Mpesa.

The recently launched partnership with AliExpress is also taking shape. Money transfer via Western Union is possible to more than 500 agents and over 3 billion bank accounts around the world. Safaricom customers can transfer and receive money from any part of the globe.

Lessons for software developers

Reading the number is interesting, especially if you are a Safaricom customer or shareholder. However, we will go for the lessons and not the numbers for now. What can lessons can software developers in Kenya take home from these results?

1. The contribution of software developers

Safaricom’s largest service to its clients is voice calls. However, the Mpesa platform has grown to become one of its largest contributors to its revenues. In the reported financial year, the service contributed 31.2% of the revenues.

Mpesa is of interest to developer for several reasons. The service started as a software development project in school. Safaricom bought the idea and developed it to a popular means of mobile payments around the globe. How much more would developers achieve if their engaged their creativity right from college?

Software developers in Kenya can create similar solutions that can revolutionize business or any other field. The question is, are developers thinking beyond the current trends? Kenyan developers have the capacity to set new trends instead of copying global trends.

The increasing popularity of Mpesa is of interest to developers. The current demand in the market is for software development and Mpesa integration services in one package. As more clients sign up for Mpesa payments for local and global transactions, the demand for the integration services increases.

2. The rising demand for loans

Developers have introduced many loan apps in the Kenyan market. However, Kenyans are still looking for alternatives. In less than 3 months, more than 8 million Mpesa customers had already tried the Fuliza service.

The tough economic times are pushing mobile phone users to look for quick soft loans. The reality is that most loan app users are subscribed to more than one service. One is never enough because of the low limit at the beginning.

The market for loan apps is still ripe. With the right information on how the financial market works, new entrants will make money through loan apps. Another requirement is choosing the right developers.

Safaricom is already revolutionising the loan market with Fuliza. The company has also signed partnerships with financial institution to enable clients to access soft loans from their accounts. Hence, new entrants must think beyond the available services in the market.

We cannot emphasize the need for differentiating solutions enough. The tendency to copy ideas has moved to the software market as well. Differentiation sets a solution apart in the market, which translates to a higher number of active users.

3. Providing high-capacity solutions

Software developers in Kenya need to learn the art of introducing functional solutions from Safaricom. The Mpesa processes more than a thousand transactions in a second. The challenge here is for developers to create such efficient solutions to their clients.

Phone users have no time to wait for minutes for a page to load. If an app is slow or unreliable in delivering a service, users look for the next best alternative. Such moves are bad news to appreneurs.

If you want to get referrals from your clients, create outstanding solutions. Push every solution to the best performance level possible. Give the right advice to your clients to improve the performance and speed of their solutions.

Software engineering is not a walk in the park. It takes months to create an outstanding solution. However, developers can improve their speed of delivering their services. In addition, developers can learn some business development strategies from Safaricom such as product diversification.

Final thoughts

Software developers in Kenya have a lot to learn from one of the leading companies in Kenya. Safaricom has set the pace in the telecommunication industry. Modern technology including software engineering technology has contributed to its outstanding results over the years. The consistency in offering reliable services in a turbulent economy is a challenge to all entrepreneurs including developers.

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Top 10 Mobile App Categories As Analysed By Android App Designers in Kenya

We recently offered a guide on how to come up with a great app idea. While our core business is developing apps among other solutions, we want you to get your teeth in this industry. You do not need any experience or background in IT or software engineering. You just need the right information from Android app designers in Kenya and other sources.

With millions of apps out there, it sounds okay to assume that the market is flooded. Well, that is not the case. For example, you may look at social media and think Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have it all. But, if you look closely, new social platforms are still coming up.

People are always looking something new, something exciting and different. The question is, do you have it? As we suggest the categories of apps that you can develop, think about the difference that your solution will bring.

Just as it is with physical products, software needs differentiation. Where are the gaps in the category? What are app users looking for but cannot get from the existing apps? Think about these questions as we go through the list of suggested apps.

1. Loan apps

Financial technology has taken Kenya by storm. There is a new loan app anywhere you look. Banks are constantly advertising their mobile banking services and easy loans. That tells you that Kenyans are still looking for quick soft loans.

Get the necessary information on this type of business to get started. Training may be necessary if you do not have a background in finance. Alternatively, gather a team of like-minded people with the necessary skills and knowledge.

2. Taxi Apps

Do you think you can beat Uber and Taxify? Our thoughts: Yes, you can! If you have ever tried to book a ride via these apps during the rush hour, then you know it can be a nightmare. Many Kenyans shun taxi services because of the cost and process of haggling for a cheap ride.

New taxi apps have come up to meet the demand for affordable taxi rides. However, there is room for growth. One secret in this business is balancing the needs of drivers and clients.

Your thoughts should not be limited to taxis. Can you provide any other alternative to the chaotic matatu industry? How about a solution for safe solution carpooling?

3. Dating apps

Here is another favourite category that every aspiring apprenuer should consider. Love makes the world go round and Kenyans are looking for it. People try online dating secretly with the hope that it might lead to something serious. Give them that opportunity. Talk to Android app designers in Kenya and get started.

As you consider these apps, beware that users of dating apps are not entirely loyal. Users often download two or more apps to increase their chances. You just need to give them reasons to open your app every day. If you can offer them quick but close matches, you are right on that path.

4. Betting apps

The betting craze is still on in Kenya. You can make some money while it lasts. The thing with gambling is that it can be addictive. When a person plays for a while without winning on one platform, they look for alternatives.

Your alternative should give them better chances of winning and quick payouts. Make the betting process or user experience seamless. It is advisable to design a website as well. Some people prefer to play on websites but check their apps for instant updates.

5. Social apps

Where social apps are mentioned, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or Whatsapp come to mind. However, there is more to this category that the popular social platforms. The idea of social apps is to bring together people with common interests and keep them talking.

Here is an example. Think about people who enjoy comics, or “bookworms” looking for an online book club. Many app owners are making money by bringing meme lovers or creators together. You too can think creatively and identify untapped social groups.

6. E-commerce apps

You do not need to have a running business to develop an e-commerce app. You can bring buyers and sellers on one platform. If you have a running business, you should be discussing the idea with top Android app designers in Kenya.

While selling products online is attractive, not every business needs an app. In addition, you need a safe and reliable payment method like Mpesa. Give customers value for their money by offering quality products, fair prices, and timely deliveries.

7. Tools

Web and mobile solutions should solve a problem or meet a pressing need. Tools match this description perfectly. The best place to start is to look at your current unmet needs. Can you find a solution for them? Can the solutions be mobile apps?

The category is quite broad from financial management or budgeting tools to maps, music players, photo editors, notepads, and editing tools. Pick one subcategory and find any gaps in meeting the user’s needs.

8. Music and Entertainment

We live in a generation that is either staring on the television screen or their mobile devices. When television programs prove boring, people turn to their phones for entertainment. Think about the time people spend in traffic bored.

An app that offers affordable entertainment will keep their minds occupied. The trick here is to offer something interesting for all users. If you choose to develop a music app, you must include all genres. It helps to include both local and international tracks on the platform.

9. Video players and editors

Video players follow audio or music players closely. Videos have gained popularity in the recent past. Fortunately for app builders, the old video players have limited functions. Your video player should have better features and functions.

Think of both video players and creators. As video content trends, many app users are looking for easy ways to shoot, edit, and share videos. Hence, your subcategories in this field are not limited to music videos.

10. Lifestyle apps

Mobile apps generally improve the quality of our lifestyle. However, the apps that fit in this category focus on a specific aspect. It is always easier to start with solutions in your niche. For instance, those in the beauty industry can use apps to share beauty tips.

Health and fitness are now a huge part of our lives. You can develop an app that combines the two aspects and offer actionable help. Alternatively, you can focus on food choices and offer recipes, diet tips or even meal plans. The list of possible lifestyle apps is long.

Final thoughts

When you browse your app store and check the listings for each category, you will find tens, hundreds, or even thousands of other apps. Beating the competition may seem impossible at first but it is possible. There is a gap or need that none of your competitors has identified or met fully. Extensive research will help you identify this gap and get a new idea. Get the best iOS or Android app designers in Kenya to actualise your idea and you will be on your way to great success.

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