South Africa ranks first in Africa in app usage, with a third of its population using mobile applications, according to the State of the Mobile Web Africa 2016 report.
The report highlights mobile Internet trends across the continent, including consumer browsing behaviour and app usage. Opera – known for its compression technology and mobile browsers, including Opera Mini – compiles regular, global mobile web reports, shedding light on opportunities and challenges within the digital environment.
The report shows that South Africa is followed by Ghana with 31% of the population using apps, 28% in Nigeria, 19% in Kenya and 18% in Uganda.
South African users are also more likely to access news and e-commerce apps than their African counterparts, with the most used apps (according to Opera’s data management application, Opera Max) being Chrome, Facebook, Truecaller, OLX, Skype and News24. In addition, Opera Mini users are accessing local news as much as 300% more than in 2014, with popular websites in SA being EWN, Supersport and the Daily Sun.
When looking at the rest of Africa, Ghanaians, Kenyans, Seychellois and Mauritians are the highest data users with an average usage of over 160MB/month, while Nigeria (with 76% of internet traffic going through mobile) is the most “mobilised” country in the world ahead of SA and India. Findings also show that visits to streaming video websites on Opera Mini in Africa have increased by 36% since 2012. Users from Tanzania (22%) are most likely to visit YouTube followed by South Africa (20%) and Ghana (19%).
Compression is key
“We believe data compression is as relevant and useful now as it was a decade ago – in fact, with the growth of smartphone penetration coupled with prohibitively high data costs, it’s a critical enabler,” says Richard Monday, VP for Opera, Africa. “The #DataMustFall movement in South Africa demonstrates that people don’t feel like they’re getting value for money. The compression technology used in Opera Mini and Opera Max helps consumers save on data costs and addresses issues relating to congestion and page sizes. Ultimately, a lighter mobile web enhances usability, functionality and access to the internet – even in poor network conditions.”
In 2016, Opera’s compression technology has allowed South Africans to save approximately US$111m in data costs, with Nigerians and Kenyans saving US$280m and US$116m, respectively.
Opera currently has 100 million users in Africa, with an 86.41% market share in Kenya, 71.83% in Nigeria and 53.1% in South Africa.