Digital All Stars is a series of articles which aims to celebrate the best of South African digital. The articles, which will appear on Memeburn and Ventureburn, recognise and celebrate South Africa’s best digital entrepreneurs, business people, advertisers, and media professionals among others.
Over the course of the series, you’ll be able to find links to all of the articles on this hub.
Before then, take a look at the video we’ve produced detailing the concept behind Digital All Stars above.
Forget the influencers for a moment, or accounts with millions of followers. Think about the first few months Instagram hit South Africa. The platform was laced with pretty images of landscapes, buildings, people and cats, taken by those either just starting their careers in photography or trying out a new platform.
While corporate use has largely become a mainstay on the network, the essence of Instagram hasn’t yet been dissolved. In fact, I’d argue that content creation on the network by its lesser-known users has never been of a higher quality.
As smartphones receive better cameras, DSLRs drop in price, and more photo-centric apps are developed for low-power devices, there are more than enough reason for anyone to tap a shutter button and hit upload.
In this Digital All Stars article, we take a look at those doing just that. We’re celebrating those with great works of art on display, but relatively low follower numbers. Those who are doing great things with nature as their subject, and their camera as the object. Those who have not yet been discovered by the wider world.
In this piece, we look at just some of the South Africans on Instagram with less than 1000 followers publishing incredible, notable or highly-respectable works. After all, why should an all star be defined or confined by a number?
In this piece we take a look at all of the interesting (and one or two controversial) changes that SA startups have gone through in 2016. With that in mind, we compiled a list of companies to watch for in the year ahead.
Sure, data might be expensive and smartphones haven’t reached everyone just yet, but that hasn’t stopped South Africans from taking to video in a massive way over the past several years.
We aren’t just a nation of YouTube viewers though, because we also play host to a fascinating variety of South African YouTubers. So who are the biggest players in South Africa then? And what constitutes being a big YouTube personality?
Lists like these often degenerate into a case of “who knows who” rather than a true gauge of popularity. But we decided to stick to the numbers (specifically October’s subscriber count), using SocialBlade to figure out the top YouTuber personalities in South Africa. To be clear, we’re only looking at individuals or duos and aren’t listing YouTube channels backed by companies and TV channels.
As for SocialBlade, it pulls views and subscribers via YouTube’s own API, although there is a slight delay between YouTube’s updated stats and SocialBlade.
There’s a variety of talent in the South African startup space. Each and every year we’re seeing more and more interesting startups coming out of the country.
In this article, we feature some of the best SA entrepreneurs under 40 who are doing big things*, whether they’re gaining traction, have several companies under their belt, or have incredible rounds of funding. The names featured are listed in no particular order and multiple entrepreneurs in the same startup have been grouped together.
While there hasn’t been any recent research on the matter, you only have to go to a few industry events to see that digital marketing in South Africa is still dominated by white males. In the words of one of the panelists we interviewed for this piece, it is “a truly untransformed industry”.
It is therefore worth celebrating the women, especially those of colour, who have risen to positions of influence in the space.
While the definition of digital marketing has become increasingly broad, for the purposes of this article we’ve only included women who are either actively involved in the digital marketing agency space, or who have digital marketing as their primary remit. Major players at publishing houses and PR agencies have therefore been excluded. They will, instead, be featured in future articles more relevant to their positions.
Even within those limitations, the women featured in this list hold a wide variety of positions and work everywhere from the world’s biggest social network, to industry bodies and the country’s digital agency powerhouses.
Gaming development has been growing in South Africa over the years and is growing into a multi-million Rand industry.
There is a large community around game development, with groups such as MakeGames SA holding monthly meetings for discussions, with Wits and UCT having courses in, or featuring, video game development.
In this article, we will feature some of the best video game startups and entrepreneurs South Africa has to offer*, whether they’re developing games for themselves or as outsourced work. The names featured are listed in no particular order.
Fintech has become a buzzword in recent years. It largely represents startups changing the way money and financial services are handled, by both businesses and corporates. Their developments can be as subtle as the payment gateway used when purchasing your next Blu-ray, to the app that helps pay for your parking.
They are disrupting the traditional banking systems by offering consumers and businesses better offerings while improving on standard services as well.
In the article, we feature some of the best fintech startups South Africa has to offer*, whether they lie in the business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) sectors, or fall in-between. The startups feature in no particular order.
You wouldn’t think this was the case as an outsider, but South Africa has a vibrant game development community.
Between high-profile releases, experimental fare and everything in between, South Africa’s game developers are a force to be reckoned with. But just who are the standout people you should follow on Twitter? We gathered a few notable personalities/developers you should keep in mind.