How Africa Accesses Facebook on Mobile
by Adam Skikne
We’ve often heard that Africa is the next big opportunity for businesses and brands. We also heard that social and mobile are two factors that are going to shape the way that business is conducted in Africa. So with this in mind, I thought it might be worthwhile to try shed some light on how how Africa accesses Facebook, the world’s largest social network, on mobile.
It sounds like a simple question but the answer is a bit more complicated. We should all know that there are a number of social and economic factors that make each African country unique in their own right. But through data from Facebook, we may be able to shed some light on the current mobile landscape in Africa and make some predictions about how it will change in the next few years.
If you look at Africa as a whole, there are over 77 million Facebook users with over 51 million users who access the service on mobile. It is interesting to note that the ratio of Android to Blackberry devices in Africa is over 2:1 – (although this may include Android tablets). But this only provides a broader picture, so for your convenience, I’ve broken down the data for the five largest countries in Africa, based on the number of mobile users (a full PDF of all the data for 50 African countries can be found at the bottom of the page)
87% of Nigerian Facebookers access the social network from mobile devices. 68% of these mobile users use feature phones while another 18% use BlackBerries.
2. South Africa
93% of South African Facebookers access the social network from mobile devices. 47% of these mobile users access Facebook through a feature phone while another 30% use BlackBerry devices.
FUN FACT: Egypt has the largest number of Facebook users in Africa but only the third highest number of mobile users. 45% of Egyptians use feature phones to access Facebook with another 38% using Android devices.
Only 55% of Moroccan Facebookers access the social network on mobile. 39% of these users do so on feature phones while 37% of users use Android devices. It shouldn’t be long before the most popular way to access Facebook on mobile is on an Android device.
85% of Kenyan Facebookers access the social network on mobile. Like Nigeria, a large percentage of these users (71%) do so on feature phones. Unlike Nigeria and South Africa, the next most popular platform is Android.
Some General Observations from the Data:
- Feature phones are still king
- Android’s market share is gowing in a number of a of African countries
- BlackBerry is still prevelant but only in a select number of markets
- iOS has found a niche in a number of markets but is not widely used
- Microsoft should quit now or start making Android devices
A Note on the Data:
All of the data used in this post was sourced directly from Facebook’s Advertising Tool. To the best of my knowledge, all of the above data is as accurate as possible at the time of originally publishing this post. If there is an error in the data, it may be my fault (please let me know if you find something wrong). If I was not at fault, then Facebook was drunk. You can find a full PDF of the data here. If you would like it in an editable spreadsheet, please let me know and I will gladly supply it.
I have tried my best to not be misleading with the data in this post. You are free to reuse any of the figures in this article but please do so in context – this is important to make both you and myself seem less stupid.