Africa may not have the numbers of Facebook users that more developed continents do, but the continent is rising fast. According to Facebook-analysis site, Socialbakers.com, the number of users on the continent grew by over 27% in the last three months, and by over 50% in the last six months.
Reasons for the rapid growth in Facebook use are not given but the deepening penetration of mobile devices, a growth in disposable income and the unprecedented political upheavals in the the north of the continent are all possible reasons that have contributed to this rise.
The uprising in Egypt unleashed a wave of devotees to the social media powerhouse, and that country now has the most Facebook users in Africa with over 5.6-million, of which 1.6-million joined in the last few months. South Africa is in second place with strong growth of 9% taking the total to around 3.76-million.
Four of the top six positions are occupied by North African countries that are currently experiencing political turmoil, reflecting the fact that Facebook has been a key organisational tool for the protestors. Those countries in the top six are Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria.
Nigeria has also experienced momumental growth in the last six months, with 1.4-million new uses, an astonishing 83% rise. Could this be attributed to the very public endorsement of Facebook by President Goodluck Jonathan, who has taken to sharing his thoughts with the nation via his Facebook page.
Socialbakers reports that the “second most dynamic continent is Asia with India being the fastest growing country (+9 million new users, +72 % change), followed by Indonesia (+8,2 million new users, +31 % change) and Philippines (+6,6 million new users, +41 % change).
And the slowest growing continent? That would be Australia, at only 5.1%, which is most probably a reflection of how widespread the social network already is.