26 January 2012

Mapping Twitter Trends in Africa

A survey of twitter use across Africa by Portland Communications finds that the majority of tweets come from South Africa, well ahead of the next three in Kenya, Nigeria and Egypt.  Here are some interesting facts from the survey:
  • 57% of Tweets from Africa are sent from mobile devices.
  • 60% of Africa’s most active Tweeters are aged 20-29.
  • Twitter in Africa is widely used for social conversation, with 81% of those polled saying that they mainly used it for communicating with friends.
  • Twitter is becoming an important source of information in Africa. 68% of those polled said that they use Twitter to monitor news. 22% use it to search for employment opportunities.
  • African Twitter users are active across a range of social media, including Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn.

Looking at the numbers, I can't say anything really stands out. I makes sense that most tweets are coming from mobile devices and the majority of users are young people looking to connect with their friends and read news.

What I would like to know is diversity of follower base. For example, how many people does the average user in Africa follow and what is the average range, in distance, of followers. We may find that it is still a rather local endeavor given that many tweeters are using it for social reasons. However, we could find that connections are expanding to bring in more continental and global connections.

Finally, I want to know more about North-South and South-North twitter trends. I am personally trying to do more to ensure that I find and follow as many people in the Global South as I can that are engaged in aid and development discussions.  Unfortunately, I have not found as many people as I would like.

Anyone else have reactions or new questions based on the study?