World Wide Worx and Fuseware conduct a regular survey into South African use of social media platforms.  Their latest South African Social Media Landscape report was released earlier this year, and had the following to say about how we as South Africans are using social media:

South Africa On Facebook

Facebook remains the most commonly used social media platform in South Africa, with approximately 13 million South African users, or round about 1/4 of our entire population.

That’s an 8% increase from 12 million users last year, and 77% of all local Facebook users are accessing the social network through mobile devices, like smart phones and tablets.

South Africa On YouTube

YouTube remains the second most used social platform for South Africans, with a 15% increase over the last year, taking it to 8.2 million South African users, with over 4 million daily views of YouTube content and over 200,000 unique visitors a day from South Africa.

The top 3 reasons for South Africans using YouTube are reported as being entertainment, education, and social / sharing.  YouTube is consumed across the range of devices, but as with other social networks, mobile devices are one of the primary means of access.

South Africa On Twitter

Sitting comfortably in 3rd place, Twitter boasts 7.4 million South African users, showing a 12% increase since last year.  Twitter users are split relatively evenly across genders, with more than 50% of users in the 25-44 age bracket, around 30% in the 16-24 age bracket, and the remainder over 55.

Like Facebook, most South African users access Twitter via a mobile device, with laptops coming in second.  Breaking news and sports updates are the most popular reasons for using Twitter, but nearly 60% of users say they conduct searches using it.  Music, film, food, TV and travel are the most popular South African Twitter topics.

South Africa On Instagram

Instagram has been a surprise winner in South Africa this year, with 133% increase in local users compared to last year, taking them to 4th place with nearly 2.7 million local users.  As the Instagram user base grows, more companies are turning their eyes toward the upstart platform, with another 24% of leading brands now planning to join the 42% of major brands that already use it for marketing.

This platform has seen the fastest growth across local social media platforms in the last year, and taken with the increase in YouTube users, we can see a definite rise in the visual medium.

Smart Phones & Social Apps

Social media apps have been the most popular free downloads in South Africa for the second year in a row in all three app stores, (Windows, Android & iPhone).  WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram are among the most downloaded free social apps in the country, showing the deep penetration of social media into the smartphone market, and highlighting the importance of mobile compatible sites and services online.