Most popular social networks, IMs on SA mobiles

Research firm World Wide Worx recently released the results of its latest Mobility survey, which showed that Facebook usage has grown more than other social networks, while WhatsApp was the fastest growing instant messaging (IM) service among South African users.

The results of the survey, which was conducted with the backing of First National Bank, also suggested that mobile data was eating into cellular voice revenues.

“Social networks and Instant Messaging are barometers of the data shift,” said Arthur Goldstuck, managing director of World Wide Worx.

With the help of Dashboard, who provided the field research for the study by conducting face-to-face interviews with 1,195 adults, respondents were asked which of their phone’s features they use.

The following chart shows how the sample responded for its usage of social networking and instant messaging features:

Social networks and IMs in SA - 2012 (June)
Social networks and IMs in SA – 2012 (June)

Almost 67% of respondents were from urban areas, and Dashboard MD Peter Searll said that it is a nationally representative sample.

Goldstuck noted the large growth shown by WhatsApp, which was so small when the Mobility 2011 study was conducted 18 months ago its market share was effectively 0%.

Mxit was another interesting case due to its lack of growth, Goldstuck said. IMs such as WhatsApp and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) showed tremendous growth while the usage share reported in the survey results for Mxit were proportionally the same as 18 months ago.

Goldstuck went on to highlight the most significant shifts in cellphone feature usage since 2010, with these social networking and IM changes among them:

  • Facebook: +16%
  • BlackBerry Messenger (BBM): +14%
  • Twitter +6%
  • Google Talk: –7%

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Most popular social networks, IMs on SA mobiles