Why Are Kenyans Still On Facebook? #KenyansOnFacebook

In 2015, Dotsavvy Africa estimated that there were about 5 million #KenyansOnFacebook, 3 million on Instagram and 2 million #KenyansOnTwitter. Link to Dotsavvy Africa blog article. The big question that we address in today’s article is: Why are Kenyans still on Facebook? Shouldn’t they have abandoned it once newer things such as Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Periscope came along? Here we explore:
7 most likely reasons:
  1. Initial Mover Advantage – having been founded earlier that Twitter and Instagram, Facebook remains the Safaricom of social media in Kenya. When the earliest users, like some of you in your late twenties, thirties and forties, it created a buzz. People could send photos, upload memories, write “Notes” and many other interesting easy-to-use features.
  2. Detailed User Profiles – on Facebook, as opposed to most other social networks, you can build a comprehensive user profile with work history, date of birth, education history, places you’ve lived, who your grandmother is and so on. Twitter profiles only allow 160 characters and we believe this is a major factor as to why people prefer Facebook. Also, job seekers are now being advised to keep the information on their Facebook pages in check as prospective employers may take a look before or after the interview.
  3. Better stalk-ability – for those whose accounts don’t have a multitude of privacy settings, Facebook offers an ideal space for stalkers to go through your timeline, see what you’ve been up to, where you’ve been, which school you attend, where you work, your family members and so on. Stalkers here are not just those weird online people who have nothing better to do. Parents, uncles, extended family members and even workmates appreciate this aspect of Facebook when “Checking up on you” without actually saying a thing. Then when you meet they start the conversation with something like: “So you had a crazy weekend in Nakuru, why wasn’t I invited…”
  4. Bragging – “Just did 45 minutes at the gym” with a well posed-for photo or “Best Western is so on point today” with a photo at the rooftop. People love to brag. Some may argue that this is mostly done on Instagram, but with the linkability of the two platforms, you will find that people posting images of how awesome their lives are will usually post to Facebook (and Twitter) as well.
  5. Easy To Use – let’s talk about Kenyans in the informal sectors. Not the high-flying business owners and startups, but the smaller informal sector: mama mbogas, house helps, gardeners and manual laborers. You know a couple, think about them for a minute. Why are they on Facebook? The answer can be because their brother is on it, or their phone had it when they bought it, or any other reason, but the reason they stay is because it’s pretty straight forward to use.
  6. Birthday Reminders – were it not for Facebook, you probably would keep forgetting 95% of your friends’ birthdays. Nowadays Facebook even tells you about upcoming birthdays so you can remember your spouse will need a gift in a month’s time, or to hold a surprise “bash” for your BFF next week. For Kenyans more active on Twitter, Instagram and other platforms, this is one of the reasons they are still logged in to their Facebook apps.
  7. Innovativeness – with the introduction of instant-play videos and other features that Facebook keeps coming up with, there is no doubt that employees at Facebook HQ work their butts off every day to try and make their users happier. Another aspect that Facebook has over it’s competitors is responsiveness. We all know someone, or we ourselves lost our paswords/got hacked, wrote an email and had the issue sorted in a friendly way. This type of interaction builds loyalty, albeit subliminally. You feel as though Facebook is your friend.
Having explored the reasons why #KenyansOnFacebook are more than Kenyans on any other social media platform, it goes without saying that brands and companies should find and engage with their audience there. Whether you are a small, medium or large company or a public figure, a portion of your audience is on Facebook. Find them, create great content for them and engage them!
What other reasons do you think contribute to this huge #KenyansOnFacebook phenomenon?
Photo credits: www.pinterest.com
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