Africa’s two largest economies are also leading the way as far as the use of Twitter is concerned; this is according to research by Portland Communications.
The London-based integrated communications agency, Portland Communications’ analysis of Twitter says, almost one in ten of the most popular African hashtags in 2015 related to political issues and politicians, compared to 2 per cent of hashtags in the US and UK.
The top political hashtag in Africa was focused on the highest profile election on the continent last year – #NigeriaDecides.
— Sara Jabril (@SaraJabril) April 6, 2016
Portland analysed 1.6 billion geo-located tweets and the top 5,000 hashtags on the continent, as part of its third “How Africa Tweets” report.
The analysis found that discussion around politics has grown to 10 per cent with Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia, Burundi and Egypt among the most active in these political conversations.
The report also saw that interest in politics transcends national borders.
“For example, hashtags about the Nigerian Presidential Elections and strife in Burundi were among some of the most popular and widespread hashtags across Africa,” reads part of Portland’s analysis.
Nigeria was not alone of political hashtags.
“Political hashtags, such as #Feesmustfall, were the most prominent and meaningful in South Africa. The student campaign quickly captured the continent’s attention as it trended in six other African countries,” read the statement.
— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) April 4, 2016
“Our previous studies showed that Twitter in Africa was much more of a space for social interaction or frivolous banter,” says Mark Flanagan, Portland’s Senior Partner for Content and Digital Strategy.
Twitter was also uniting Africans across geographical boundaries.
“Excitingly, our report also hints at the coming together of Africans across boundaries to comment on and discuss common issues. How to successfully engage with these emerging pan-African online communities represents a challenge for all brands and organisations seeking to build their presence in this space,” added Allan Kamau, who leads Portland’s Nairobi office.