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Tech Friday: Kenyan app store launched…

(KEN MACHARIA) The first virtual mobile app store was launched last week by local tech firm, Virtual City.

Hewani Application store will host both free and paid mobile applications tailored for African markets. The store will host different types of platforms including USSD, SMS, JAVA and WAP apps which can also run on Android, Blackberry and iPhone systems. Hewani will be spreading to other countries in Africa, with an official launch planned for Rwanda in a few weeks time.

“Our model will be an aggregation model where we will allow all platforms and multiple forms of payment with the aim of making transactions seamless for the customers”, says John Waibochi, Virtual City CEO.

Hewani is working towards an app store that will allow companies to get template apps and customize according to their needs.

Facebook buys Gowalla

Facebook has bought Gowalla – a location based service that allows users to ‘check in’ virtually using their mobile devices. The service is similar to Foursquare though Gowalla has 2 million users compared to Foursquare’s 10 million.

Facebook introduced a location based service through its Facebook Places and the acquisition of Gowalla is seen as a way of boosting the service.

Top trends in 2011

Meanwhile, Facebook and Twitter announced the most trending topics in 2011.

Facebook had; the death of Osama bin Laden, Packers win the Super Bowl, Casey Anthony found not guilty, Charlie Sheen and the death of Steve Jobs, in the top five globally trending topics, according to Mashable.

On Twitter, Justin Bieber, FIFA women’s world cup, Lady Gaga, NBA and Jonas Brothers took the top 5 spots globally. A few Kenyan topics also hit it globally including; Wangari Maathai’s death, KCPE2010, Lorryimebeba and Makmende.

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