Social media has been at the center of human interactions in Kenya for more than ten years now. This has given rise to dependence on social media for news, influencer marketing, the decline of the traditional media, and brands moving online to reach their clients.

However, social media is also a fast-changing landscape where many people struggle to keep up and new trends keep coming up. It is for this reason that SIMELab Africa has released Social Media Consumption in Kenya Report 2020 which gives useful data on how Kenyans are using social media.

Here are the highlights from The Kenyan Social Media Landscape: Trends and Emerging Narratives, 2020.

Key social media discoveries for Kenya in 2020. Source: Social Media Consumption in Kenya Report 2020

Facebook was always the most popular social media platform in Kenya until WhatsApp came. It remains popular compared to other similar social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin. However, it has experienced the largest decline in the number of users in 2020.

The number of Kenyans who use Facebook declined by 6,8%. On the other hand, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat have seen an increase in the number of users. Snapchat and Twitter have experienced a growth of 17,3% and 13,4% respectively.

New social media entrants

While the traditional social media platforms that are mostly in Kenya remain popular, there is the new one that is making inroads and gaining popularity. One reason for this is the demographic factors such as age, with young people more open to trying new platforms. Usually, the motivation is to be on different platforms than the one used by parents, teachers, or other senior people.

Among the social media platforms that have been gaining popularity include IMO, Likee, Vskit, Wechat, and Google Duo.

Web browser vs Apps

Another emerging trend in 2020 is the tendency of using a browser to access social media, as opposed to the apps.

Several reasons could have informed this. Some people are very conscious of privacy and are wary of the amount of data that the apps collect. Others are concerned about the storage space of their devices, while others could be trying to control the deviceโ€™s data usage.

Blogs

One interesting report is the increase in the number of people who read online blogs from 74% in 2019 to 86,9% in 2020. Of those 65% of the readers read blogs every day and entertainment and education are the most popular themes.

Online harassment

A worrying trend is the prevalence of online harassment. 33% of social media users have had a negative online experience, while 21.1% have experienced a severe form of online harassment.

This could be the reason why some people using pseudonyms on social media. It could also be as a result of the same. From the report, 57.8% of men and 42.1% of women reported having used pseudonyms in online conversations.

Misinformation, disinformation and fake News

Social media provides a platform for information to spread quickly. Unfortunately, this efficiency also applies to inaccuracies and falsehoods online.

33,8% of social media users reported having frequently come across false or misleading information online. Another 52,4% reported having come across such occasionally. This highlights the central role played by social media in the spread of fake news.


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