Most of the top social media networks based out of the United States have seen significant surges in users in South Africa in the last two years, and they aren’t showing signs of slowing down.
Research shows that visual content drives most social media traffic, along with networks that allow users to be interactive in real-time.
Major brands in the country like Mr Price and Mercedes-Benz have had a lot of success growing their fan base through social networking. Here are the most popular social networks in South Africa.
Affordable calling apps
While some don’t consider phone call apps to be social networks, their users have a lot of crossover with those of Facebook, Twitter and other major social networks in South Africa, so they’re worth a mention. Nine percent of South Africans are on Skype, another nine percent are on Black Berry Messanger, and an astounding 33 percent are on WhatsApp.
Google Plus numbers are harder to evaluate than those of most social media platforms since part of the appeal of the platform is privacy, but there are over 460,000 confirmed users in South Africa—that’s over thirty percent of South Africa’s Internet users. Social media analysts say that Google Plus is a niche network in the country, with not as much high-quality content as the likes of YouTube or Facebook.
The professional networking site is the third most popular social networking platform in South Africa. The site saw a huge growth in 2014 when the economy was struggling, unemployment was at a high 25 percent, and people needed every avenue to search for a job. Between 2013 and 2014 the site saw a 40 percent increase in South African users. Since then the growth has slowed, but the site has nearly four million users
South African small businesses have capitalized on Facebook’s popularity in the country to communicate further with their customers and build a loyal following. Facebook has nearly 13 million monthly users in South Africa and 7 million users who log on every day. Facebook recently opened its first office in Africa, in Johannesburg. An estimated 5.6 million of South African Facebook users are male, and another 5.6 million are female. Most of the country’s Facebook users access the site through their mobile phone.
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