Kenya youth spoilt for social media options

Will the Sh982 payment for verification of a Twitter account reduce the number of Kenyans using the social media app? PHOTO | POOL

Will the $8 (Sh982) payment for verification of a Twitter account reduce the number of Kenyans using the social media app?

Elon Musk says the monthly fee is important and necessary to deal with the millions of bots and troll farms on the micro-blogging site, including “malicious actions by state actors”.

However, there is a generation of young social media users that says they are least affected by Twitter woes since Musk bought it for $44 billion and laid off crucial staff and could easily exit because other platforms equally serve their needs on the Internet.

Social media statistics indicate that more than 11.75 million Kenyans use different platforms.

The choice of one platform over the other depends on the user’s age, the features, how tech-savvy a user is and if it attracts a fee.

Eucabeth Veronicah, a Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology student, says her world revolves around TikTok. She deactivated her Twitter account after being trolled.

Ms Veronicah, who doubles up as a commercial dancer, says TikTok is where she connects more with potential customers, whom she entertains and earns money to pay her college fees.

She has about 10,000 followers.

TikTok has attracted millions of Kenyans, especially creatives such as graphic designers, photographers, musicians and videographers who share their work and create videos outlining their creativity.


Instagram is another crowd-puller. There are about 2.6 million Kenyans on Instagram and growing. The app has attracted a generation keen on photos, stories and videos.

Vivian Kagwiria, a social media manager and content creator, says she has been on Instagram for nearly a decade.

Using Instagram stories, reels, and live-streaming features, she posts her jewellery and other content that has enabled her to get clients.

By April, the photo-sharing app had 2.6 million Kenyan users out of the over two billion users globally.

It ranks fourth among the most popular social networks after Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp.

If you are looking for an alternative to Twitter, ever heard of Reddit?

Users say this is the space where people meet to have authentic and interesting conversations on the Internet.

It is where gaming communities, nostalgic Internet forums, bloggers, meme-makers and fandoms mingle alongside video streamers as well as seasoned professionals find fun.

Hillary Odhiambo, a Kenyan working in Kuwait, says he would be okay with being on Reddit if he were to leave Twitter.

He is active on Twitter but says Reddit has helped him grow his career.

With more than 100,000 communities on every topic you could think of, Reddit is the place where you can dive into anything and connect with people on any topic.

Facebook is one of the most popular social networks in Kenya. Unlike Twitter, it allows one to target users with posts based on their interests, demographics and other factors.

Ms Veronicah says she loves Facebook and uses the platform to kill boredom and when she wants to catch up with the latest gossip.

Data shows 26.5 per cent of the eligible Kenyan audience, that is those aged 13 and above is on Facebook.

By April, there were about 10.7 million Kenyan users on Facebook, data from DataReportal, which collects global social media numbers, show.

Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter. 

For professionals and job seekers, LinkedIn is indispensable.

Users make contacts and hunt for jobs, but it has gained traction as a platform for posting links and sending direct messages.

Like a Facebook feed, your LinkedIn feed offers posts by and about people in your network, commonly known as connections.

This is a home for Molly Wasonga.

The writer uses LinkedIn for her career development — to find and read from people in the same industry, explore new job openings and just connect with professionals in different jurisdictions.

Snapchat works with the principal features that include pictures and messages available for a short time before becoming inaccessible to their recipients.

Mary Gorrety, who is a lawyer, says she likes Snapchat because apart from being a means of communication she can access other information through its video series, as well as interact with friends.

Snapchat users are also growing, with the company estimating that there were 2.05 million Kenyan users on the platform as of June.

Content creators

Over the years, Kenya has seen a rise in content creators using social media to push their respective YouTube channels, ranging from educational content to comedy, especially during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, which contributed to the emergence of new creatives.

In Kenya, there are 9.29 million users of YouTube as of early 2022.

For her content to reach a broader market, Ms Kagwiria says, YouTube works just fine.

Other alternatives to Twitter include Telegram. This is a messaging platform that works like WhatsApp.

Like WhatsApp, you can send photos, videos, audio and documents on Telegram.

Other features include groups that allow a larger number of members than WhatsApp and channels based on different interests.

It is widely used by the younger generation, especially students.

There is also WeChat and Skype, which are not commonly used.

Social media has changed the way people, organisations, and communities in general create, consume and share content and even relate.

Different social networks have enabled people to break geographical barriers allowing successful social media collaborations.

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