Instagram, Facebook, make waves in SA

Internet Research, Market research

Facebook is now used by a quarter of all South Africans, while Instagram has seen the fastest growth of any social network in South Africa over the past year.

These are two of the key findings from the South African Social Media Landscape 2016 study, conducted by World Wide Worx and Fuseware. The study is based on access to consumer data from seven major social networks and a corporate survey conducted among more than a hundred of South Africa’s leading brands.

It showed that Facebook has grown by 8 per cent, from 12-million to 13-million, and Twitter by 12 per cent, from 6,6-million to 7,4-million users. Video sharing platform YouTube increased its user base marginally more, with a 15 per cent rise from 7,2-million to 8,28-million users. The biggest growth has come from Instagram, which rose a massive 133 per cent, from 1,1- million to 2,68-million.

“As use of social media keeps growing rapidly in user numbers and in intensification of use by those already on board, it can be expected that each year presents stand-out trends or milestones,” says world Wide Worx managing director Arthur Goldstuck. “In 2014 the headlines were earned through the growth of visual networks, namely Instagram and YouTube. In 2015, Instagram once again grabbed headlines as a result of its growth, but Facebook shared the spoils through reaching a major milestone.”

The study shows 13-million South Africans now on Facebook, with 10-million, or 77 per cent, using it on mobile devices. Smartphones are used by 7,9-million South Africans to access Facebook, while 1,6-million are using basic feature phones to do so. Tablets are being used to access Facebook by 1,4-million people – many of whom are also using their phones.

The big surprise in the results came from Instagram more than doubling its user numbers in South Africa, and its 133 per cent growth doubling an already high 65 per cent growth in 2014.

Instagram also shows the highest planned use by major brands for social networks not currently in use, with 24 per cent saying they plan to do so on the coming year. At present, 42 per cent of major brands are using it, with Mr Price and Mercedes Benz having been the most successful with individual images.
As brands become more comfortable with specific social networks, they become far more effective at using them as marketing and positioning platforms. Instagram is already the big winner among users. Brands want to tap into that enthusiasm.

The full report is available for purchase from World Wide Worx. The Executive Summary can be downloaded by clicking here.

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