Kenyans are the second most active on twitter in the African continent, a new survey reveals.
Conducted by Portland Communications and Tweetminster, the study also shows the growing social networking platform is becoming an important source of information in Africa.
The study launched on Thursday in Nairobi analysed over 11.5 million geo-located Tweets originating on the continent during the last three months of 2011 with a sample of of 500 of Africa’s most active Tweeters.
It also emerges that young people tweeting from mobile devices are driving the growth of Twitter in Africa with 68 per cent of those polled saying that they use Twitter to monitor newsand 22 per cent of respondents use it to search for employment opportunities.
“We saw the pivotal role of Twitter in the events in North Africa last year, but it is clear that Africa’s Twitter revolution is really just beginning. Twitter is helping Africa and Africans to connect in new ways and swap information and views. And for Africa – as for the rest of the world – that can only be good,” said Beatrice Karanja, Associate Director and head of Portland Nairobi.
An indicator that mobile devices are slowly taking over from PCs and laptops, 57 per cent of Tweets from Africa are sent from mobile devices with 60 per cent of Africa’s most active Tweeters aged 20-29.
“Twitter in Africa is widely used for social conversation, with 81 per cent of those polled saying that they mainly used it for communicating with friends,” reads the survey results in part.
South Africa is the continent’s most active country by volume of geo-located Tweets, with over twice as many Tweets (5,030,226 during the fourth quarter of 2011 followed by Kenya at 2,476,800.
Nigeria 1,646,212), Egypt (1,214,062) and Morocco (745,620) make up the remainder of the top five most active countries on twitter. African Twitter users are active across a range of social media, including Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn.
“One of the more surprising findings of this research is that more public figures have not joined Africa’s burgeoning Twittersphere.
With some notable exceptions, we found that business and political leaders were largely absent from the debates playing out on Twitter across the continent.
As Twitter lifts off in Africa, governments, businesses and development agencies can really no longer afford to stay out of a new space where dialogue will increasingly be taking place,” said Mark Flanagan, Portland’s Partner for Digital Communications in a statement.