How South Africans Use Twitter. This Will Surprise You

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A recent study of South African use of Twitter reveals that it is growing in popularity and is used for much more than personal updates.

The study, commissioned by Twitter and conducted by Nielsen, shows that 53 percent of users in South Africa fall in the age range of 25 to 44; nearly a third (29 percent) are age 16 to 24 and the remaining 18 percent are over age 55.

Just more than half of the Twitter users in South Africa are women (56 percent), 87 percent of people use a mobile phone to access the Internet and of those, three in five use their mobile phone to access Twitter as a preference. Laptops are the second most popular device used to access Twitter at 68 percent and tablet users contribute 32 percent of the access.

…When looking at the range of features available and what is used most often, 52 percent of those surveyed said that they read Tweets on their timeline daily, 40 percent said they tweet themselves and 37 percent look at the trending topics.

…South Africans make use of Twitter for different reasons but mainly to keep up to date, connect and discover — 64 percent of users for keeping up to date with breaking news and 39 percent use it for the latest sports information. In terms of connecting with people, 55 percent engage with people they know and 53 percent of users connect with people they do not know, showing its power to create connections. It is also used as a way to discover and 58 percent of users conducted searches on the platform.

…In South Africa, women are more likely to Tweet about holidays and celebrities whereas men Tweet about news, sports and politics. However 63 percent of people Tweet about jokes or things that make them laugh. A good example of this is the recent ‘Twitter Town Hall’ #AskMmusi, where South Africans started to Tweet jokes and ended up causing #AskMmusi to trend worldwide.

…Another South African favorite is music content with 69 percent of South African users indicating it as their top interest. Film (67 percent), food (66 percent), TV shows (64 percent) and travel (60 percent) complete the top five South African interests.

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