It’s been less than a month since I posted about how radio is the go-to medium within developing countries, for its benefits of quick set-up, mobilisation, and the ability to communicate and disperse information to wider audiences. Yet, last week, I came across this one article, by Quartz Media, stating how social media is now the new media in Africa. Is this so? Very possibly. Follow this link to read the article I am referring to.
This is by far the best aspect of the field I am interested in working in: the fast-paced nature of changes in media and communications affecting society and the way in which individuals communicate with one another. Last month, my perspective was very much with radio being the main source of media used within developing countries, and now new findings come to light to shift this discourse.
It would seem almost natural for social media to have a trajectory of users in Africa, and other developing countries, for similar reasons to that of radio, with TV remaining very similar and somewhat stagnant, given the ratio of the entire population (close to 1 billion), compared with the amount of households who actually own a television set, being less than 1% of the entire population, as the article states. Apps, such as WhatsApp, which they are awarding the most used form of social media in this part of the world, not only is a major source for news, but also entertainment, and reaches wider audiences, particularly that of a younger generation.
Quartz Media also included a graph, which illustrates Africa’s adjustment of the use of smartphones since 2010, with an estimation of a further 50% adjustment into 2019. See pattern below:
Other social media sites, including FaceBook, are frequently used, again, with the user’s ability to create a free account, which allows one to communicate with users from all over the nation, let alone the world, sharing relevant news within their areas and worldwide, as well as funny videos – as most of us can probably admit.
Disclaimer: I intentionally decided to wait to upload a piece on this so as to digest the news coming to light, and so I deem this as more of a commentary piece and brief analysis on an investigation, to be able to do further research into this topic.
Please do share with me your thoughts on the way in which social media is transcending the communications scene within Africa and other developing countries.