Instagram, Snapchat are SA's new social media hotshots

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Durban - Instagram and Snapchat are South Africa's fastest growing social networks, with Facebook still holding the top spot.

This is according to the 2017 Social Media Landscape Survey for the country which has been released by local technology experts Michal Wronski and Arthur Goldstuck this week.

INFOGRAPHIC: SA social media by the numbers

Goldstuck, who is also the managing director of World Wide Worx, told Fin24 that Instagram was the fastest growing social network in SA for the second year running with 3.5 million users in 2016, up 31% from 2.68 million users.

“The fastest growing social network in the country without a doubt is Instagram for two years in a row now, but what looks to be coming next is Snapchat,” he said. 

Goldstuck said that there a was a massive demand for the social network within the country. 

“More companies are now looking to invest in Snapchat because of the demand and growing awareness around it,” he told Fin24. 

Snapchat usage in SA is up 33% from 2015.

However, the country’s biggest social network, Facebook, was also still on the rise. 

Research showed usage on the platform was up 6% to 14 million users during 2016 so far. 

“What we have noticed is, of the Facebook users in the country, 12 million of them are using the social network from mobile. Existing users are using Facebook more intensively,” he said. 

Goldstuck added that Twitter showed a similar trend with a 4% growth to 7.7 million users. 

“Users on Twitter are also using the social network more intensively. But what we have noticed is that Twitter has become a crucial part of public debate,” he said. 

“People see Twitter as an ideal forum to take part in a public debate,” Goldstuck told Fin24.

Internet video service Youtube was also seeing steady growth in usage in the country with 8.5 million users.  

By the end of 2016, Goldstuck said that he expected to see more than 20 million people in South Africa using the internet, with the vast majority of users connected via mobile. 

“It could still be a couple years until we see Facebook and Twitter overtaken by Snapchat and Instagram. But globally Instagram has become bigger than Twitter and South Africa tends to eventually follow international trends,” he said.

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