Facebook a friendly place for South Africans

2010-11-10 13:13

Bill Rogers (50) is a popular man.

He has exactly 3 338 friends, some of whom are powerful South African politicians.

But there’s a catch.

Rogers has never met most of these “friends” in person. Such is the nature of the social network.

Facebook, started in 2006, now has about 500 million users worldwide and approximately 3 million of them are South Africans.

According to a survey by market research company TNS (Taylor Nelson Sofres), South Africans are ranked 22nd out of the 46 countries studied by TNS in terms of the average number of friends users have.

The average South African has 132 friends across social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter – considerably more than users from Japan, which have an average of 29 friends.

Malaysia, whose population is just over 26 million (with internet penetration at 65%), was at the top of the list with 233 friends, closely followed by Brazil, with 231.

Lerato Manaka (24), a recruitment consultant from Johannesburg , accepts every friend request she gets and now has 1 163 friends.

She says that “people online are not real friends, as they tend to exaggerate the truth about their lives”.

Manaka spends a few of her working hours online, chatting to about 40 people on instant messaging.

Rogers, who carries his BlackBerry with him, says: “I am online every waking hour.”

Most social countries (in terms of the average number of friends on social networks)

Malaysia (233)

Brazil (231)
Norway (216)

Poland (201)
Greece (198)

Indonesia (198)

Portugal (196)

Turkey (189)

Argentina (184)

Israel (184)

Least social countries

Japan (28)

South Korea (49)

Nigeria (57)

China (67)

Morocco (69)

India (72)

United Arab Emirates (74)

Germany (75)

Russia (77)

Uganda (79)

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