Today at the Social Media World Forum, I spoke to Tim Bishop of Prezence Digital about how South Africans and Africans are using mobiles and mobi-sites. I asked him specifically, “Why should companies wanting to target African markets look at a mobi-site?”
12 million people are using the mobile web in South Africa and that’s growing exponentially. Prezence believes that anyone wanting to communicate with the mass market has to go mobile.
While apps definitely have their place in the high end demographic, the reality is that so many users in Africa are at the Bottom of the Pyramid. While the CEO of a company may own an iPad and think it’s cool to have an app, the reality is that apps don’t always fit the brand or the target user.
The smartphone market (i.e. phones that are able to work with apps) in South Africa and Africa is very small. However, phones that are able to access the web and therefore show mobisites are far more prolific.
Projections show that mobile web useage in Africa will double year on year. South Africa currently has 12 million mobile web users (as opposed to 6 million desktop web users).
One of the issues African users face is the lack of content – there simply isn’t enough good content for the growing demand. Tim cited the example of how Soccer Laduma is engaging their target market using content that is relevant to people in their lives, including films and documentaries. He said one of the beauties of South Africa and Africa is the diversity of cultures and what that means for creation of new content.
Mobile is the great enabler for users to share and build different kinds of new artistic, creative content.
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