The most interesting statistic lurking in the latest numbers for social network use in South Africa is one that does not look interesting at all. The figures for use of Facebook according to socio-economic level in South Africa reveal that penetration across all levels is almost the same.
This means that a graph showing penetration would be almost a straight line, which would at first sight seem to be the most boring of findings. It reveals something far more exciting, though: social media has been “normalised” across all segments of society. Those on the lower rungs of the economy are just as likely to use social media as those at the top.
The SA Social Media Landscape 2019 report, released last week by World Wide Worx and Ornico, the media monitoring organisation, shows that across age groups, the racial divide and lifestyle measures, there is little difference in Facebook penetration. This section of the report draws on data collected by Ask Afrika, the continent’s largest market research company, in its annual TGI Survey, which interviews 16 000 consumers.
The data highlights the impact of the launch in South Africa of Facebook Lite in 2015, and some network operators allowing it to be used without data charges being incurred. This meant a massive uptake of Facebook Messenger as a cheap or free means of sending instant messages, and led to Facebook spreading evenly among all population segments.
Continue reading to find out about additional social networking in South Africa.