A new study by Portland, How Africa Tweets, analyses twitter usage in Africa, a bit of a first! There is plenty of research about how the USA uses twitter, but not much in the way of numbers and usage in Africa. So this research is welcome, as it shows a growing trend in the use of twitter for news, entertainment, and recruitment.
Some of the key findings show that African tweeters are young, mobile, using it for news and, for now, mostly South African. The details include the following:
- Africans tweeters are mostly 21-29 years old (60%)
- 57% of Tweets from Africa are sent from mobile phones
- 68% of those polled said that they use Twitter to monitor news. 22% use it to search for employment opportunities.
- South Africa has the most volume of tweets (5,030,226 during fourth quarter of 2011), followed by Kenya (2,476,800), Nigeria (1,646,212), Egypt (1,214,062) and Morocco (745,620).
Beatrice Karanja, Associate Director and head of Portland Nairobi, says: “We saw the pivotal role of Twitter in the events in North Africa last year, but it is clear that Africa’s Twitter revolution is really just beginning. Twitter is helping Africa and Africans to connect in new ways and swap information and views. And for Africa – as for the rest of the world – that can only be good.”
However, the researchers were surprised that more public figures (politicians, business people) were largely absent from twitter. They felt this was short sighted, given the dialogue that is starting to take place on twitter.
Interestingly, as this has gained traction on twitter, a new hashtag is also gaining momentum – #africansact – which looks at how social media is used in social change in Africa. Join the chat …