It’s becoming more and more difficult to ignore Facebook‘s influence on our daily lives. With around 1.7-billion active users globally, the social network would be the world’s most populous country if Mark Zuckerberg decided to, I don’t know, buy Mars perhaps.
This popularity is also true in South Africa. Of the country’s 53-million strong population, around 14-million use the social network each month, with about 50% of those logging in each day. Clearly, the social network has a massive effect on the online world in the country. And according to a new survey, it’s also slowly morphing into a social recommendation and ecommerce hub.
The survey in question, conducted by Facebook IQ and Ipsos, quizzed 21 511 people over 18-years of age from 17 countries in 2015. It takes a look at this transformation, but also sheds some light on how South Africans use the social network during the Holiday Season.
According to the survey, South Africans share around 23% more posts during the holiday season than at other times in the year. This makes sense for obvious reasons: calling and SMSes are often pricier than simply logging into an app or web page and darting off a message.
Even though smartphone sales slowed worldwide this year, the lion’s share of Facebook posts uploaded using a mobile device. Facebook found that 88% of holiday season posts were smartphone-sourced, that includes photos and videos.
Interestingly, South Africans don’t only use Facebook to air their views, but rather absorb those of others. 22% of the country’s surveyed population “use Facebook to seek advice about gifts from friends“, the survey notes.
More than half suggest that Facebook is “influential” to their shopping habits, while 26% suggest that the social network is a great place to source shopping ideas. This compares to just 17% of users who find that Instagram is influential as a shopping platform.
Beyond the platform, the survey also shed some light into the mobile shopping habits of Facebook users in the country.
“When holiday shopping,” the survey notes, “81% of South African m-buyers surveyed take shipping times into consideration, while 58% care about ordering online and picking it up in-store.”
Facebook also noted that those surveyed are incredibly loyal to their devices.
“[T]hough they cited mobile shopping challenges such as too-small text, lost signals and content that doesn’t fit mobile screens, an average of 57% South Africans surveyed said that when they experienced problems, they tried shopping again on mobile later,” the survey adds.
Do you agree with the numbers in the survey? How do you use Facebook during the holidays? Let us know in the comments section or poll below.