Meta’s Facebook continues to dominate Africa’s social media despite TikTok surge. This is according to a recent Social Media Usage report by GeoPoll.
Africa’s social media users have risen continuously, amounting to over 384 million. With 170 Million active users, Facebook stands tall in the African Social Media scene. Basically, it means about 44% of Africa’s social media users are on Facebook.
Snapchat continues to have a small but significant user rate of 25%. Meanwhile, Pinterest, Threads, and Reddit had user rates of 18%, 10% and 6% respectively.
Social Media Differentiated by Purpose
On the continent, active social media users prefer each platform for a unique reason. From the survey users frequently turn to socials for communication, entertainment, news, and updates.
For instance, among those surveyed, 68% use the platform for discovering news and current events. On the other hand, 49% use Facebook to make new friends and socialize.
In comparison, 73% of respondents use TikTok primarily for watching and sharing short-form videos. Indeed, 72% use TikTok as a source of entertainment. Remarkably, 61% turn to TikTok as a learning platform to acquire new skills. This shows TikTok plays an important role despite concerns about sexualized content.
Instagram users were found to prefer the platform as a place to keep up with trends. It is also a celebrity hub as 61% turn to the platform to follow influencers and celebrities. Moreover, 59% of users upload photos as they deem Instagram a memory vault.
As expected, Twitter is the platform to keep up with news and current affairs. This was the case for 78% of the respondents. Furthermore, 59% use the platform to connect with like-minded individuals and participate in thought-provoking discussions and debates.
LinkedIn remains a professional platform. Of the active users surveyed, 87% turn to it for job hunting and career advancement.
Social Media Impact
80% of respondents agreed to have purchased a product/service advertised on social media. This highlights the crucial role social media plays in e-commerce and advertising in Africa. Based on the research, most Africans access social media via mobile phones.
Because of ease of access, the average time spent on social media is between 3 to 6 hours per day. Overall, social media was found to have a positive impact on the continent. It was found that 61% of those surveyed find social media to have improved their mental health
GeoPoll conducted the survey in four countries – Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa – in August 2023 with a sample size of 4,170 participants.