Twitter grows in Africa

Stratsis Incite

2011 was a landmark year for social media in Africa.  The growth and use of Twitter took off.

Twitter came of age in Africa in 2011, according to a study by Portland Communications and Tweetminster of geo-located tweets from the continent.

It found there were 11.5m African tweets recorded in the last quarter, with 57 percent sent from a mobile phone.

Of these, 40 percent were in English and the rest in other languages, dialects or slang.

Africa’s twitterati are largely young and middleclass, with 60 percent of users aged between 21 and 29 compared with the worldwide average age of 39.

Mark Flanagan, a partner at Portland, said his team noted that of the 4-5 million users, 81 percent used Twitter for social conversation whilst 68 used it to monitor news.

‘Revolution’ and ‘elections’ were the big hashtag trends of 2011.

Young activistsin Egypt used Twitter and Facebook to coordinate protests, while in South Africa the country’s ‘secrecy bill’ was a long-running  trend on Twitter towards the end of the year.

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