World Wide Worx, in partnership with Ornico, released the 2021 South Africa Social Media Landscape Report, showing which online platforms and trends dominate in the country.
The 2021 study, conducted after a full year of Covid-19 lockdown, provides an in-depth picture of the online behavior changes brought on by the pandemic.
According to Arthur Goldstuck, CEO of World Wide Worx, there are an estimated 38.2 million people online in South Africa, with an explosion in the use of social media platforms due to a similar increase in app use. mobile.
This is evident in South Africa’s tally of over 100 million mobile connections – an excessive penetration of 169% of the population of just under 60 million people.
The most popular social media platforms
Facebook maintains its position as the country’s most popular social media platform, with around 27 million local users – 18 million of those users are exclusively mobile.
However, despite the larger base, the WhatsApp messaging platform and the YouTube video platform are the most widely used, World Wide Worx noted.
About 93% of internet users use these platforms each month, although Facebook is also widely used, at 87%.
According to World Wide Worx, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the behavior of South Africans on social media, which has benefited some platforms more than others.
For example, SnapChat has seen significant growth across all age profiles, with the platform’s user base growing by as much as 25% among certain demographic groups. It now has seven million users in South Africa.
Instagram has seen its active users grow from 4.3 million to 7.1 million, giving it an estimated installed base of 10 million people. Its popularity increased with the launch of Reels – a TikTok clone – which boosted business.
TikTok, meanwhile, is the fastest growing platform in the country, growing from five million to nine million users in the past year. Its growth was driven by a younger demographics, but more people in the 25-44 age groups joined during the lockdown.
Twitter’s growth in South Africa, relative to other platforms, has been relatively stagnant, up just 4% from last year, to 9.3 million users.
YouTube provided an alternative to pay TV services like Showmax and Netflix locally. The platform has a reported base of 24 million people in South Africa, with World Wide Worx data showing around 16 million active viewers.
The professional social network LinkedIn saw its number increase from 7.5 million to 8.4 million users.
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