The Growth of Social Media in Nigeria

Do you have an active presence on any social media platform?

Seven years ago, if you had asked most Nigerians about social media, you would have likely received puzzled looks. But today, Nigerians are one of the most active users of social media.

There has been a tremendous growth and an active awareness in the use of social media within the country. It has become an engaging platform where different issues, views and opinions are shared and discussed.Did you know?
* Facebook was launched in 2004 and has more than 1 billion users today.
* LinkedIn was launched in 2003 and now has more than 225 million members.
* Twitter was launched in 2006 and currently has more than 550 million users.
* Google+ was launched in 2011 and has about 500 million users.
* Pinterest was launched in 2010 and currently has over 11 million unique users.
* Facebook-owned Instagram was launched in 2010 and currently has over 100 million active users.
* Google-owned Youtube was launched in 2005, and in January 2012, YouTube reported that the site was receiving four billion views per day.

Statistics of Nigerians on Social Media
Nigerians are no longer in the dark about social media. According to Socialbakers Facebook statistics by country published in 2012, Nigeria has become Africa’s second largest country on Facebook after Egypt, with over 6 million users, overtaking South Africa for the first time in 2012.

via Socialbakers

via Socialbakers

Twitter has also become one of the most popular social media platform in Nigeria. It is widely used for social conversation with friends, to connect and network with like-minded persons, to monitor news, and to search for job opportunities. Some Nigerians already have huge followers on Twitter.

The research, How Africa Tweets, carried out a survey of 500 of Africa’s most active tweeters. It found Twitter in Africa is fast becoming an important source of information on a continent and that Nigeria is the continent’s third most active country by volume of geo-located tweets (1,646,212).

With the ever growing number of Nigerians watching videos on Youtube daily and the high cost of television advert in the country, many companies have taken the advantage of leveraging Youtube by releasing their marketing campaigns as videos on the Internet first and on television later. This has shown to work in favour of some companies.

Nigerians are also very active and growing in numbers daily on other social media platforms such as Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Nigerian Companies and Social Media
Companies in Nigeria can expand their reach and presence in international markets quite effectively by leveraging social media. Today, the Internet is accessible in most parts of the country.

Nigerian Government and Social Media
In as much as various government ministries, departments and agencies have tapped into the power of social media to share information, enlighten the public, and receive feedback, the government is highly concerned about its general usage in Nigeria.

Three months ago, the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Benjamin Ezra Dikki, revealed that the government is drawing up possible regulations for the use of social media in Nigeria.

“As it now obtains, all manner of things are uploaded on the various platforms of the Social Media without recourse to age and sensibilities of the users,” Mr. Dikki said. “This is not good enough.”

Also in a statement, Head of the Bureau’s public communication, Chigbo Anichebe, said, “In line with its reform mandate, the Bureau plans to initiate necessary policies and the legal framework for the regulation of the Social Media in the country.”

Are you a social media enthusiast? Do you support the idea that the Nigerian government should regulate the use of social media within the country?

You can follow or connect directly with Jerry Ihejirika on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest.

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