Recently Africa has had a well-deserved buzz on social media, thanks to the likes of well-known celebs from South Africa. It will be of no surprise that most people on the continent of Africa and overseas, now know who Trevor Noah is. Of course not forgetting house Dj Black Coffee and the forever controversial, Hip-Hop rapper AKA, all of whom, have earned a rightful place on the international market recently. Why am I mentioning these names?
Africa is finally opening her eye to a better and more positive use of social media, to get her own stories out there. Would you believe that mobile subscriptions in Africa exceed those of North America? (Africa Renewal Online). We are the fastest growing continent in terms of fixed to mobile telephones, so it should be no surprise that social media is also fast becoming the new niche.
According to Africa Renewal Online, Africans predominantly access the internet through their mobiles phones, and secondly, most of that time is spent dabbling on social media sites! As it stands, Facebook is the most used social media platform in Africa, with more than 17 million users (astonishingly more than Asians), followed by Twitter and YouTube. This happens, however, in spite of the fact that we have the lowest internet penetration in the world. Only 1 out of 10 people are estimated to be internet users.
BUT the continent is also doing much more than just joining in on the already established sites. We are establishing our digital footprint with a few of our very own social media sites and the likes, spread across different countries.
10 social media sites created in Africa and the diaspora
- Blueworld: A South African dating site
- Kenya Social Network: A Kenyan version of LinkedIn
- Naijapals: Nigerian social network (where you meet friends who are like-minded)
- KokoLiko: Ghanaian chat site with more than 4000 people signed up
- Motribe: South African site where people, brands agencies, and publishers get to manage their own mobile social communities
- Camerborn: Cameroon based social media site for people to get to know one another
- 1PlusAll: One of the most well-known social network sites in Nigeria (global following)
- Amunzi: A Zambian based site that integrates with Facebook (login via Facebook)
- Eskimi: a Lithuanian based site that has more than 2.2 million users from African countries like Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.
- OshareK: An Egyptian social network site where groups can be formed based on shared interests.
It’s clear to see the countries including South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria seem to be more indebted in this space. They are some of the leading countries in Information Communication Technology (ICT), known for some of the best innovation hubs in Africa. It is with hope that the youth that are so ingrained in our continent, use the advent of technology to change the use of social media in such a way that they transform perceptions, tell our stories capitalizing on the incredible potential that we as Africans have.