SOCIAL MEDIA has revolutionized communication in Rwanda. Millions of people, especially young people, are active on many social media platforms.
However, with the onset of the covid-19 pandemic, digital life has never been more important as many embrace social media platforms as part of their daily lives.
There are many social media platforms around the world, but given the evolution of some and their characteristics, Rwandan youth have become more accustomed to some than others.
New times traced some of the social media platforms commonly used by young people in Rwanda, based on followers, views and activity.
The instant messaging and video app allows users to talk with friends, view live stories, and explore news for you to discover, making it youth-friendly.
With plenty of free time, young people start to unleash their hidden talents like comedy, theater and singing, thanks to the app. One of the main reasons it is popular among its users is its privacy and streaks, as well as messaging through images. We can identify a screenshot or videos recorded by another user. Snapchat is a US multimedia instant messaging application and service developed by Snap Inc., originally Snapchat Inc, founded in 2011 by Evan Spiegel, Reggie Brown and Bobby Murphy.
One of the main features of Snapchat is that the images and messages are usually only available for a short period of time before they become inaccessible to their recipients.
Yves Shema, a youngster based in Gisenyi, says he can’t go two hours without opening Snapchat.
Instagram, another photo and video sharing social network service owned by Facebook, is one of the most popular platforms among local users with a seven percent social media market share.
The platform has grown and accelerated the merger of influencers and e-commerce among young people.
Shadyboo, a Rwandan socialite who has the most subscribers on this platform, is Shaddyboo, a woman who has nearly a million subscribers.
According to Ritha Uwera, a media personality who currently runs Century Park’s social media, Instagram has also had a significant impact in advertising as it can promote products globally.
The importance of Instagram in Rwanda can also be seen by how the pandemic has forced showbiz to go online. Most deejays and musicians featured their entertainment shows on Instagram during the lockdown.
“During the pandemic, social media kept people entertained. It was one of the few platforms that kept our jobs afloat. We even had different ways of making money from these social media platforms, ”said Dj Diallo, a renowned Rwandan DJ.
Twitter, a US microblogging and social networking service, is a platform on which different users interact and post messages called “tweets”. Sometimes users retweet other people’s tweets. The platform established in 2006 in the United States was mainly used by the older generation, but recently young people have become more involved on Twitter and use it as a way to express and share thoughts on different topics. In addition, Twitter is a breeding ground for opportunities, as some young people have said.
“Twitter makes it easy for you to connect with people who can help you with your business. It’s full of opportunities, ”said Bazillia Maeva, a Twitter user in Kigali.
Since its launch in 2004, this social media giant has grown in leaps and bounds and is currently the leading social media platform with 2.74 billion active users according to DreamGrow, an online media information source. social and content marketing. The social network has helped young people connect with their long-lost friends, make new friends and advertise their services, making it a darling among young peers.
According to Adobe Spark, an online and mobile design app, YouTube is now the second most popular search engine in the world, just behind its parent company, Google. Its ability to entertain while promoting business and generating income has made it one of the favorites in Rwanda. Rwandan video bloggers who touch on entertainment, travel, edutainment, expertise and advertising have sworn by this platform to go further and facilitate their work.
TikTok was named the most downloaded app of 2020 with its video feed. This is pretty obvious given how fond Rwandans have become. While some people have fun watching these videos, many are making names and money by entertaining their audiences through TikTok.
In a previous interview with The New Times, a famous TikToker Ravanelly Twahirwa said that TikTok’s videos gave him a chance to be recognized.
“Thanks to this platform, I have signed many contracts with different companies such as a language teaching school based in Kigali, Ahobite TV and Sweet Addicts which offers cooking training, among others.
TikTok, known in China as Douyin, is a video-sharing social networking service from Chinese company ByteDance.
This famous app is the last but not the least. Whatsapp is a Facebook-owned mobile messaging application that allows users to send text and audio messages, make phone calls, and share information. Brian Acton and Jan Koum, according to Oberlo, founded WhatsApp in 2009. Their goal was to give people an alternative to SMS, which is a type of text messaging. They were able to accomplish all of this and more. Due to its efficiency, Whatsapp is a popular application among many people, especially among young people in Rwanda and around the world. Whatsapp has registered 13 million users worldwide so far in 2021, according to Sensor Tower.
“Whatsapp is simple to use and provides great features. Whenever there is a new version of WhatsApp, we are always waiting for an innovation, and it always is,” said Carine Saro, a WhatsApp user at Rwanda.