SA’s favourite social networks

Facebook is South Africa’s most used social network among South African smartphone users, according to a recent study conducted by Ipsos GmbH in association with TNS Infratest and the Mobile Marketing Association.

Google presented the results as part of their Think Mobile event held in Cape Town on 7 November 2011, and announced that the data would be available through the Our Mobile Planet website.

Among the questions asked of the 1,000 private smartphone users was which social networks they visit on their phone, and which they visit on their computer.

The vast majority (95%) of respondents said that they use Facebook on their smartphone and PC, with Twitter in second place and MySpace in third.

Social network popularity on smartphones in SA - 2011
Social network popularity on smartphones in SA - 2011

It’s interesting to compare these statistics to those of World Wide Worx, a local technology research company, which recently published the findings of the study it conducted with Fuseware entitled “South African Social Media Landscape 2011.”

According to the study, MXit is the most popular social network in South Africa with 10 million users, while Twitter has 1.1 million, Facebook has 3.2 million, and LinkedIn also has 1.1 million.

Earlier this year (2011), World Wide Worx revealed the results of its Mobility 2011 study that showed a similar relationship between social networks in South Africa.

Mobility 2011: Social potential

The differences between the results of the study presented by Google and the other surveys suggest that smartphone users may use MXit less than the average cellphone user in South Africa.

It is strange, however, that BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) doesn’t feature more prominently in the findings of the smartphone usage survey considering that it showed BlackBerry to be the favourite smartphone platform in SA by far.

Perhaps MXit and BBM usage isn’t accurately reflected in the “others” percentage because respondents didn’t consider the services as social networks. The context of the question or the options that were provided as answers may not have led respondents to consider platforms like MXit and BBM.

However, regardless of the potential omission of other popular social platforms, the results of smartphone survey still show that most users visit Facebook, while a large fraction frequent Twitter.

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SA’s favourite social networks