Instagram and Snapchat are South Africa’s fastest growing social networks, with Facebook still holding the top spot.
This is according to the 2017 Social Media Landscape Survey, which has been released by local technology experts Michal Wronski and Arthur Goldstuck this week.
Goldstuck, who is also MD of World Wide Worx, said Instagram was the fastest growing social network in South Africa for the second year running, with 3,5m users in 2016, up 31% from 2,7m users.
“The fastest growing social network in the country without a doubt is Instagram for two years in a row now, but what looks to be coming next is Snapchat,” he said.
Goldstuck said that there a was a big demand for the social network among South Africans.
“More companies are now looking to invest in Snapchat because of the demand and growing awareness around it,” he said.
Snapchat usage in South Africa is up by 33% from 2015.
However, the country’s biggest social network, Facebook, was also still on the rise.
Research showed usage on the platform was up 6% to 14m users during 2016 so far.
“What we have noticed is, of the Facebook users in the country, 12m of them are using the social network from mobile. Existing users are using Facebook more intensively,” he said.
Goldstuck added that Twitter showed a similar trend with a 4% growth to 7,7m users.
“Users on Twitter are also using the social network more intensively. But what we have noticed is that Twitter has become a crucial part of public debate,” he said.
“People see Twitter as an ideal forum to take part in a public debate,” Goldstuck said.
Internet video service YouTube was also seeing steady growth in usage in the country, with 8,5m users.
By the end of 2016, Goldstuck said that he expected to see more than 20m people in South Africa using the Internet, with the vast majority of users connected via mobile.
“It could still be a couple years until we see Facebook and Twitter overtaken by Snapchat and Instagram. But globally Instagram has become bigger than Twitter and South Africa tends to eventually follow international trends,” he said.