Social networking in South Africa has crossed the age barrier, the urban/rural divide and even the relationship gap, according to research findings announced today.
The South African Social Media Landscape 2012 study, produced by technology market researchers World Wide Worx and information analysts Fuseware, shows that the fastest growing age group among Facebook users in South Africa is the over-60s. From August 2011 to August 2012, the number of over-60s on Facebook grew by 44%, compared to less than 30% for those aged 30-60, less than 20% for those aged 19-30, and less than 10% for teenagers.
“This is a reflection of Facebook going mainstream in South Africa,” says World Wide Worx managing director Arthur Goldstuck. “The younger segments are still far from saturation, but we’re not seeing the same heady pace of growth among the youth as before.”
At the end of August, 5.33-million South Africans were using Facebook on the Web, 2,43-million were on Twitter and 9,35-million on Mxit. Because Facebook does not measure mobile-only usage among those who have registered via their cellphones, however, the full extent of its penetration is significantly understated: primary research by World Wide Worx shows that 6.8-million people access Facebook on their phones.
Twitter use measured in this primary research indicates that its user base had grown to 2,2-million by the end of June, or 100 000 new users a month since August last year. Fuseware data, collected directly from Twitter through an API (application programme interface), shows that the number reached 2,4-million at the end of August, exactly matching the growth rate measured by World Wide Worx, and validating the earlier data.
“The integrity of data, and its interpretation, is vital for business decision-makers and marketers who are investing in social media,” says Fuseware managing director Mike Wronski. “Different methodologies allow us to gain deeper insights, as well as providing cross-validation for our data.”
Other key findings announced today include:
• Both Facebook and Twitter have grown at a similar rate, at around 100 000 new users a month, for the past year.
• LinkedIn has grown substantially, but at a slightly lower rate, to reach 1,93-million South Africans.
• Pinterest is the fledgling among the major social networks, with only 150 000 users in South Africa.
• *WhatsApp has become the leading instant messaging tool among South Africans aged 16 and over, living in cities and towns, with a user base of 4,6-million.
• The youngest mobile instant messaging tool to emerge on the measurement radar in South Africa, 2Go, has close to a million adult users.
• The most common “Check In” sites for Facebook in South Africa are airports and shopping malls.
• The biggest tweeting day of the week is a Monday, with an average of 9,6-million tweets sent by South Africans on the first working day of the week. Friday is next, with 9.6-million, while Saturday is the slowest Twitter day, with 8,4-million tweets.
• Both Facebook and Twitter have crossed the urban/rural divide. The proportion of urban adults using Facebook is a little less than double rural users – but rural users are now at the level where urban users were 18 months ago. Twitter’s urban penetration is a little more than double its rural penetration, but the rural proportion has also caught up to where the urban proportion was 18 months ago.
One of the most fascinating findings reported today is that the number of single users has grown faster than any other relationship group, by almost 25%, to reach 957 000. The number of married and engaged users has each grown by 16%, while the category of those “in a relationship” has increased by 9%.
“Clearly, Facebook is filling a relationship gap in the lives of many South Africans,” says Goldstuck. “But social networks are also so much more – we see them playing the roles of communication, information and entertainment networks.”
Wronski adds: “Social media fatigue has set in for the more over-active users, who follow too much, communicate too much, and vent too much. But most users are arriving in this world for the first time, and new users are going to keep coming. It’s mainstream today but, tomorrow, it will be pervasive.”
The Fuseware team has been hard at work to bring you the South African Brandometer, an online influence benchmark for the most popular social networks. It categorizes online influence in each social network, by category and industry.
An extensive categorized influence benchmark of this kind has not been conducted before, so this is a first for South Africa and most probably the world. As social media grows and matures, it is important to be able to discern the valuable brands that are succeeding with their social campaigns. This facilitates knowledge, integrity, and provides a great scorecard for which to measure the success of companies in their respective industries on social media.
The Brandometer can be considered a beta product for now, as we may have not yet categorized every possible influential brand across all major networks. However, we hope that the free to use portal will provide a useful basis and point of reference for brands and marketers in the future.
The Design Indaba expo, South Africa’s premier design and creativity event, happened last week. And what a week it was, with thousands of people joining in online conversations in social media about the event. Fuseware collected 14000 mentions from over 3200 people talking about the event.
According to Fuseware’s analysis, the event generated an online brand exposure of a massive 875,000 people. This was due to the number of highly influential people talking about the event, and how quickly the event was shared on Twitter.
The event had a massive spike of conversations in the days leading up to the event, and on its first day. With a demographic hinting slightly towards a male audience from Cape Town, the conversations revolved around the inspirational and often mindblowing items on show during the expo.
The most mentioned user was the official design indaba Twitter account – @designindaba, with over 1500 mentions. @grolschza posted over 560 tweets relating to the event – the most active brand on social media.
The conversations revolved around the fascinating things on exhibition, the sponsors and key influencers talking about the event, such as Khaya Dlanga. Take a look at the top words in the conversations below:
With over 200 retweets and shares, the top tweet about the conference came from user @core77:
@core77: “Do not ask a designer to design a bridge, but ask him to design a way to cross the river.”
The top 3 links shared in all conversations were
For the full report with more details, download the full report here: Design Indaba social media report.
Today, we are proud to announce that we are opening up our systems to be used completely free of charge for all smaller companies that wish to monitor their brands – basically companies that get less than 1000 mentions per month. All features will be enabled for these companies, such as unlimited monitored profiles, unlimited reports and real-time monitoring of the social web.
We are also introducing a new concept – pay as you go monitoring. No more worrying about recurring payments – you have the power to pay for mention credits in advance for your account. For larger companies that receive more than 1000 mentions per month, you can purchase “mention bundles”, which are like prepaid credits for monitoring mentions on your account. If you purchase 5000 credits, you will be able to monitor 5000 more mentions of your brands. We give every user a free 5000 mentions when signing up, and 1000 credits every month afterwards.
We have also streamlined our sign up process – take a look by signing up in under 60 seconds on the Social Insights platform.
If you have any questions or comments, you can contact Fuseware directly at email@example.com.
Ruby on Rails Developers needed for the one of the hottest new technology companies in the country! Work in a dynamic team with passionate people on important projects.
RoR, Computer Science, AWS, EC2 – R170,000 – R220,000 + possible stock options
-Help build and maintain our social media monitoring backend used by some of the largest companies in the country
-Work with large data-sets to help make influential decisions that will drive future products
-Pitch-in with new projects, ad-hoc work, and whatever is needed in this high-growth phase
-Strong engineering foundation with a degree in Computer Science advantageous
-At least 2 years experience contributing to production-level code bases
-In-depth knowledge of the Ruby on Rails framework
-Familiarity with Amazon’s Web Services advantageous
For more information please contact Mike Wronski or forward your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have not had any response in two weeks please consider your application unsuccessful.