South Africa tweets the most on the African continent with over five million messages sent in the last three months of 2011, according to research released on Thursday.
Analysis of over 11.5 million geo-located tweets originating on the continent and a survey of 500 of Africa’s most active tweeters, showed that the next most active country was Kenya (2,476,800).
This is followed by Nigeria (1,646,212), Egypt (1,214,062) and Morocco (745,620), according to Portland Communications and Tweetminster who conducted the study.
It found that 57 percent of tweets from Africa were sent from mobile devices, 60 percent of Africa’s most active tweeters are between 20 to 29 years old and that 81 percent of those polled mainly used it for communicating with friends.
Sixty eight percent said they use Twitter to monitor news and 22 percent to search for job opportunities.
“One of the more surprising findings of this research is that more public figures have not joined Africa’s burgeoning Twittersphere,” said Mark Flanagan, Portland’s partner for digital communications.
“With some notable exceptions, we found that business and political leaders were largely absent from the debates playing out on Twitter across the continent.”
He said they could not actually afford to stay away from a space where dialogue was increasing.
Most of those surveyed said at least half of the Twitter accounts they followed were based on the continent.
Beatrice Karanja, associate director and head of Portland Nairobi in Kenya, said: “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.”
A hashtag of #Africatweets was suggested for debate on the findings.
Twitters offers 140 characters to microblog and paste links from websites