Accra has the most active tweeters in West Africa and is the eighth most active on the continent, with 78,575 geo-located tweets, according to ‘How Africa Tweets’, a new study analysing Twitter activity on the continent.
The report found that twitter activity in Africa during the last quarter of 2013 peaked on the day of Nelson Mandela’s death.
In a follow up to its 2012 study, strategic communications agency Portland analysed geo-located tweets originating from Africa during the final three months of 2013. The second How Africa Tweets study delves deeper into Twitter use on the continent, looking at which cities are the most active, what languages are being used the most and what issues are driving the conversation online.
How Africa Tweets found that, during the final three months of 2013:
· Johannesburg was the most active city in Africa, with 344,215 geo-located tweets, followed by Ekurhuleni (264,172) and Cairo (227,509). Durban (163,019) and Alexandria (159,534) made up the remainder of the top five most active cities.
· Nairobi was the most active city in East Africa and the sixth most active on the continent, with 123,078 geo-located tweets.
· Accra was the most active city in West Africa and the eighth most active on the continent, with 78,575 geo-located tweets.
· English, French and Arabic were the most common languages on Twitter in Africa, accounting for 75.5 per cent of the total tweets analysed. Zulu, Swahili, Afrikaans, Xhosa and Portuguese were the next most commonly tweeted languages in Africa.
· Tuesdays and Fridays were the most active tweeting days. Twitter activity rose steadily through the afternoon and evening, with peak volumes around 9pm.
· The day of Nelson Mandela’s death (5th December) saw the highest volume of geo-located tweets in Africa.
· Brands in Africa are becoming increasingly prevalent on Twitter. Portland tracked major hashtag activity from top brands such as Samsung, Adidas and Magnum ice cream.
· Football is the most-discussed topic on Twitter in Africa. Football was discussed more than any other topic, including the death of Nelson Mandela. The most mentioned football team was Johannesburg’s Orlando Pirates.
· Politically-related hashtags were less common than those around other issues, with only four particularly active political hashtags tracked during the time period. This included KenyaAt50, the celebration of Kenya’s independence.
Allan Kamau, Head of Portland Nairobi, said: “The African Twittersphere is changing rapidly and transforming the way that Africa communicates with itself and the rest of the world. Our latest research reveals a significantly more sophisticated landscape than we saw just two years ago. This is opening up new opportunities and challenges for companies, campaigning organisations and governments across Africa.”
Mark Flanagan, Head of Digital for Portland, said: “As well as adding diversity of perspective on political and social issues, Africa’s Twitter users are also contributing linguistic diversity. Twitter is now established on the continent as a source of information and a platform for conversation.”