Today, most of us regularly consume digital media of some form, helping to shape internet trends in South Africa . At Opera, we’ve taken a look at some research examining our digital lifestyles and the ever-developing internet landscape in South Africa.

Social South Africa

WhatsApp kicks to no. 1 as the top social-messenger app in South Africa, followed by Facebook in the no. 2 spot,  used by 26% of the population. These stats are from Hypertext’s discussion of a recent We Are Social report. The report’s findings confirm that the majority of people who use the internet engage with WhatsApp and Facebook, as well as many other social-media platforms.

internet trends in south africa

According to World Wide Worx, Facebook is the first service of its kind to bridge South Africa’s gender digital divide, with around the same number of women accessing Facebook as men. This is unusual in a country where internet access is heavily male oriented.

“Entertain us”

South Africans are crazy about movies, music and entertainment. Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF)’s 2014 consumer survey indicates that half of South African internet users listen to music and play games on their phones. Visual content is driving social media according to World Wide Worx, with the number of YouTube and Instagram users in South Africa increasing, respectively, by 53% and 65% over the past year.

internet trends in south africa

“Do we trust you?”

We recently posted about finding quality, trustworthy Android apps, and it’s clear that South Africans are quite privacy- and security conscious and suspicious when it comes to their mobile phones. MEF’s 2015 Consumer survey reveals, worryingly, that 58% of mobile users in South Africa do not entirely trust using apps. Such concern may serve as an additional barrier to mobile-data usage in South Africa. Such barriers can only be tackled by providing good options, consistent quality and transparency. We promise that Opera will continue to do so!

“We like shopping, but …”

E-commerce is still developing in South Africa, but, in recent years, with more and more users having access to smartphones and attractive online pricing, more of you are willing to shop online with your phones. The major barrier to mobile shopping? Again, it’s trust. Many consumers feel that online payments aren’t secure.

internet trends in south africa

As with other cultural behavior, these South African internet trends – and how we interact with our digital world – have a lot to teach us. It is also important that businesses listen to the people using their products in order to provide the best possible services and products. We’d love to hear your favorite online activities! Tell us below or reach out on Twitter or Facebook.

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