Kenyans Are the Most Online Users in Africa

Internet users grew by 1.3 million from last year

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Instagram Reels vs TikTok
Instagram Reels vs TikTok

I thought I was a chronic online user and then I looked at the data and the revelations are wild when it comes to Kenya as a country in relation to East Africa and the whole continent in general. This is why other African nations can’t mess with us when it comes to social media beefs.

According to a new report by Melt Water, Kenya leads East Africa when it comes to mobile connections and social media users – sitting at 63.94 million connections and 10.55 million users respectively(19.3% of total population). Tanzania has the highest number of internet users at 21 million with Kenya and Uganda trailing closely with 17.86 million users and 11.77 million users respectively. Our internet penetration numbers still lag at 20.7% while Uganda and Tanzania are at 24.6% and 31.6% respectively.

The total number of internet users worldwide sits at 5.158 billion.

Uganda leads the region when it comes to median mobile internet connection speeds at 26.07Mbps while Kenya and Tanzania come second at 20.41Mbps and 14.48Mbps respectively.

When it comes to social media users, we lead with 59.1% of our internet user base having used at least one social media platform in January this year. Tanzania comes close at 17.4% while Uganda closes the race at 17.4%.

In comparison to other regions in the continent, East Africa takes the last position when it comes to internet adoption at 32.1%. Southern Africa leads the chart at 70.6% followed by Northern Africa at 65.9%. Western Africa and Central Africa rank third and fourth position with 48% and 27.9% respectively.

Looking at the overall continent, South Africa recorded 59.3% of its internet user base who used at least one social media platform which means Kenya ranks second in Africa.

As mentioned above, we have the highest number of people in East Africa on social media ranging from Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Twitter as seen below[January 2023].

Facebook

We have 9.25 million Facebook users which is 17% of the total population and an ad reach that sits at 51.8% of all internet users in the country. It reduced by 9.8% between October last year and January this year – that’s a drop of 1 million users.

Instagram

Instagram has 2.2 million users in Kenya which is 12.3% of the overall internet users in the country and Ad reach decreased by 8.3% between October last year and January this year which means a drop of 200 thousand users. This is worse as 300,000 users ditched the platform between 2022 and 2023.

Facebook Messenger

Kenya has 1.85 million users on Messenger which is 10.4% of total internet users. 100,000 people(-5.1%) stopped using Messenger between October last year and January this year.

YouTube

Kenya has 9.44 million users which is 52.9% of total internet users. Ad reach increased by 4.5% between October last year and January this year which means 410,000 users joined YouTube between those months.

LinkedIn, Snapchat and Twitter

In Kenya, we have 3.5 million LinkedIn members, 2.45 million users on Snapchat and 1.9 million Twitter users.

While Twitter lost 100,000 users between October last year and January this year, LinkedIn and Snapchat gained 200,000 users and 400,000 users respectively in the same period.

CountryFacebookInstagramLinkedInTwitter
Kenya9.25M2.2M3.5M1.9M
Uganda1.85M447.5K1.0M601.2K
Tanzania3.8M2.45M1.1M594.8K

Here are other interesting statistics

  • Kenya ranks 7th globally and 4th in Africa with 96.8% of its total number of internet users who use a mobile phone to access the internet
  • Kenya ranks 2nd globally and in Africa with 72.2% of its total internet users who are concerned about online misinformation
  • Kenya ranks 22nd globally and 2nd in Africa with 24.8% of its total internet users who use a virtual private network(VPN) for at least some of their online activities.
  • Kenya ranks 49th globally and 5th in Africa with 19.3% of its total population as active social media users.
  • Kenya ranks 5th globally and 3rd in Africa spending an average of 3 hours and 34 minutes using social media each day.
  • Kenya ranks 22nd globally and 3rd in Africa with an average number of 6.6 social platforms used actively each month
  • Kenya ranks 4th globally and 2nd in Africa after Nigeria with the highest percentage of social media users at 35.2% who said that they follow Influencers.
  • Kenya ranks 9th globally and 2nd in Africa with 48.4% of social media users who say that they use social media to follw news stories
  • Kenya ranks 36th globally and 4th in Africa with 117.2% mobile connectivity(number of mobile connections compared with total population)
  • Kenya has the cheapest 1GB data plan and ranks 3rd in Africa and 25th globally at $0.24

View the full report here.

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