Four million Kenyans, roughly 10 percent of the population, daily engage in social media activities with 570 million tweets expected by the end of 2014 and more than 50 thousand new twitter accounts predicted at the same period of time. This is the result of the research by The Digital Rand on “The State of Social Media in Kenya” which was published yesterday.
Facebook dominates Kenya’s social media with 3.8 million users. Far behind them is Linkedin with 1.5million users, Twitter with 650,000 users and Google+ with 350,000.
There is also a rise in the use of mobile applications which, the report reveals, has overtaken web based applications. Twitter for Android is the most popular mobile applications with the social media network’s growth peaking between 2012 and 2013, about 100 thousand new users signed up during this period. This peak was reportedly spurred by the 2013 general elections, which saw numerous politicians get online and campaign via social media.
But Twitter currently suffers huge 65 percent dormancy rate in Kenya; 19 percent of Kenyans on Twitter have not tweeted in 2014. LinkedIn is actually worst hit with this dormancy; it has the highest number of inactive users, closely followed by Google+.
Most of the social media activity is centred in Kenya’s capital and largest city Nairobi, 74 percent of Kenyans on Twitter stay there while the next largest base is from the Diaspora at 11 percent.
This steady rise of the social media, and some reported incidences of the spreading of hate speech through them, have not gone unnoticed by Kenyan authorities; The office of the director of public prosecution has said it is drafting a Cyber Crime and Computer Related Bill to fill the gap and tame cyber criminals, including propagators of hate speech on social media and identify thieves, who are on the rise due to advanced technology.
The report also discloses that “Kenyans on Twitter cumulatively command a following of 120,199,588 followers and cumulatively follow 49,539,705 users. The average Kenyan follows 89 users and has 214 followers”. It says tweets with hashtags stand at 34 percent. It estimates that more than 300 million tweets have been posted to date.