South African Social Media statistics 2011 in a nutshell

28 Oct 2011 Comments 2

This week the Twitter world has been abuzz with #socialmediasa. The trending hashtag sprung about by the recent release of this year’s astounding Social Media statistics report entitled, "South African Social Media Landscape 2011". Produced by Fuseware (a Social Media Monitoring Platform) and World Wide Worx (a market research agency), this study brings to light some surprising trends and statistics about South Africa’s use of Social Networks over the last year. Below is the report in a nutshell:



  • Twitter has increased over the last year from roughly 55 000 users to over 1,1 Million. This is a 20 fold increase! Put differently, 95% of the people on Twitter only joined within the last year.
  • Although it is estimated only 40% of users are active tweeters, the study does suggest that almost as many are using the platform for watching, following and getting their daily news.

The report’s executive summary suggests these changes are in part due the “media’s obsession” with Twitter, I’m willing to bet a big factor is also the increasing availability of Smartphones and BlackBerry.



  • With approximately 10 Million users, this network remains the largest in South Africa.
  • The report suggests Mxit is teen dominated with roughly 75% of its users being 18 or under.


  • A surprising statistic emerged from Facebook. Only 3,2 Million of its 4.2 Million users logged on within the last year.

Facebook’s “ghost profiles” could be a result of a number of reasons. It is possible, as the study suggests, that the novelty of Facebook has worn off in certain age groups and a few users have migrated to services such as BBM. I would be inclined to believe this is due to the increase in the 50+ Facebook users ‘hopping’ onto Facebook and then gradually becoming less interested. Don’t be fooled –those people are out there!


  • Like Twitter, LinkedIn has passed the 1,1 Million user mark. This amounts to an 87% increase over the past year.
  • 10% of the users are business owners.

As the first major B2B (business to business) social network, LinkedIn already had a large user base in South Africa. Its steady growth over the past year shows its increasing importance.

It will be very interesting in the coming weeks to see what new trends are revealed from the data in the report. The full detailed report costs R12 000 can be purchased here.



World Wide Worx


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  • Marc

    Would be great to know which portion of the LSM Market users use social media, in order to see if it is worthwhile for certain businesses to launch a social media campaign according to there target market. Is there any research out there regarding this?

    February 20, 2012 at 17:32pm - Comment
    • Jennifer Kling

      Hi Marc,
      Thanks for getting in touch. It"s pretty hard getting accurate Social Media statistics out of South Africa. We"ve found usually shows quite good stuff, perhaps have a look.

      Jenny Kling

      February 22, 2012 at 10:59am - Comment