About 65% of South Africans 16 and older now have access to the Internet, an increase of two percentage points on last year, according to new research commissioned by Google.
The 2017 Connected Consumer Study found that South African online consumers are younger than the global average, with 60% of them below the age of 35. Some 69% said they often access the Internet on a mobile device. Smartphone usage has grown from 47% in 2014 to 60% this year.
The number one online activity of connected South Africans is social media. The report also found that 2.5m South Africans shop online.
The research, which was conducted by Kantar TNS, delved into how online behaviour has changed, compared television and online video consumption habits, how mobile usage has evolved over time, and what the future of technology holds. The study polled consumers 16 years and older across 63 countries in the second quarter of 2017.
In South Africa, people from all nine of South Africa’s provinces were interviewed, face to face — 60% in urban and 40% in rural areas. The country is ahead of Nigeria and Kenya, where the number of connected adults is 63% and 53% respectively, Google said.
“Twenty-five million South Africans (16+ years old) access the Internet locally for private purposes. The biggest demographic, making up a third of the online population, is aged between 25-34. The 35-44 age group has a 17% share, 20-24 at 15%, 55+ at 15% and 16 -19 at 12%,” the US Internet giant said in a statement. “The smallest group is 45-54 at 10%.”
When compared to the global online distribution, 60% of connected South Africans are aged below 35, versus globally where the figure is 34%.
Beyond social media, South Africans use the Internet for search, followed by consuming video. — (c) 2017 NewsCentral Media