Yesterday Evening I was having coffee alone in a hotel in Nairobi City, Kenya. The hotel was full of youthful couples I presume they were on a date. What went unnoticed was that 90% of them were on their phones, chatting, texting or maybe uploading some images on various social media platforms.

Social media has become a drug, an addiction and to many a basic need. We are in the era where its easy to whatsapp or inbox a friend to whom you are seated in the same table on a coffee date than to talk to them. By research 57% of people talk more online than they do in real life, introverts prayers have finally been answered.

In my high school I was this village guy that couldn’t talk fluent English, couldn’t hook up with a girl from another school on church rallies, contests, games, symposiums or even the local pretty girls in my rural area. Social media then was not common in kenya, 90% of social networking was done via letters that feelings was expressed on various forms mostly by writing a number of fullscaps and from the guys from the city by writing on well scented writing pads whereby each had a song dedication at the end of each letter. One brilliant thing or rather funny was the way guys put the latest pics in the letter and then send. I believe this time stamp companies, envelop and posta investors were making their fortune.

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED? Social media was born and embraced

I will not go into details on which social media was born first or which they were, but i remember my first encounter with social media was in the December of 2008 after I had cleared my high school and as we were seated in the “boys house” with my elder brother who was by the time studying a degree in computer science (well exposed) asked me whether I was on Facebook? What is Facebook? A social networking site…What is social networking? And what happened was that he created an account for me. He then asked me to post something, and I asked what do I post? It was funny he posted the first post for me, which was “I am eating Githeri” it was funny and fun at the same time, he was my first friend then my sister whereby by the end of the day I had 2 friends who had liked my status and commented. It changed my life.

18th April 2008 was when Facebook took over the social media world from Myspace. My early days on Facebook I added anybody, people from Kenya and abroad, people I knew and never even heard of, It was fun, the timing was perfect since it’s the time I had my first phone a Nokia 500. Facebook, networking and chatting was my thing. I changed my names almost weekly (I HAVE EXHAUSTED MY NUMBER OF TIMES I CAN CHANGE MY NAME AND I CANT CHANGE ANYMORE, I CANT EVEN CHANGE TO A NAME I WOULD PREFER TO BE MY PROFESSIONAL IMAGE NAME (I should consider hacking that maybe)). I was no longer the naïve kid in real sense but a social media outspoken pro. When my birthday came I received lots of birthday wishes more than ever before and this was a great experience. Live long social media.

Then came twitter which is a platform that only gives you 140 characters to express yourself, are they really enough while even short messaging service gives us 160 characters though people have managed to be brief and to the point. LinkedIn a professional site was born and a platform I like up to date too, Instagram, snapchat and many more social platforms. In this era, if you have internet accessibility and you not on social media then you not living at all. 26% of world population is using social media while 48% of 18-34 years old check Facebook right when they wake up. What does 26% mean, it translates to 1 out of 3 people is in social media.

What really are the social media facts and figures?

  • 4Chan: 11 million users
  • Airbnb: 50 million users
  • Facebook: 71 billion users
  • Flickr: 112 million users
  • Google+: 300 million users
  • Instagram: 400 million users
  • LinkedIn: 450 million users
  • MySpace: 6 million users
  • Periscope: 10 million users
  • Pinterest: 100 million users
    Reddit: 36 million accounts
  • Snapchat: 100 million users
  • Twitter: 320 million users
  • Wechat: 12 billion users
  • Weibo: 600 million users
  • WhatsApp: 900 million users
  • Youtube: Over 1 billion users
  • 91% of retail brands use 2 or more social media channels
  • Internet users have an average of 54 social media accounts
  • Social media users have risen by 176 million in the last year
  • 1 million new active mobile social users are added every day. That’s 12 each second
  • Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp handle 60 billion messages a day

Social video statistics

  • Facebook now sees 8 billion average daily video views from 500 million users
  • Snapchat users watch 6 billion videos every day
  • US adults spend an average of 1 hour, 16 minutes each day watching video on digital devices
  • 78% of people watch online videos every week, 55% watch every day

Facebook statistics

  • Facebook adds 500,000 new users every day; 6 new profiles every second
  • 72%of all online US adults visit Facebook at least once a month
  • The average (mean) number of friends is 338, and the median (midpoint) number of friends is 200
  • Half of internet users who do not use Facebook themselves live with someone who does
  • Of those, 24%say that they look at posts or photos on that person’s account
  • There are an estimated 81 million fake Facebook profiles
  • The most popular page is Facebook for Every Phone, with 509,772,152 likes
  • There are 40 million active small business Pages
  • But only 2 million of those businesses pay for advertising
  • Facebook accounts for 62% of social logins made by consumers to sign into the apps and websites of publishers and brands

Twitter statistics

  • 500 million people visit Twitter each month without logging in
  • There is a total of 3 billion accounts, but only 320 million are active
  • Of those, 44% made an account and left before ever sending a Tweet
  • The average Twitter user has 208 followers
  • But 391 million accounts have no followers at all
  • There are 500 million Tweets sent each day. That’s 6,000 Tweets every second
  • Twitter’s top 5 markets (countries) account for 50% of all Tweets
  • It took 3 years, 2 months and 1 day to go from the first Tweet to the billionth
  • 8% of US companies with 100+ employees use Twitter for marketing
  • 77% of Twitter users feel more positive about a brand when their Tweet has been replied to

Youtube statistics

  • 300 hours of video are uploaded to Youtube every minute
  • There are 3.25 billion hours of video watched each month
  • More than half of YouTube views come from mobile devices
  • The average mobile viewing session lasts more than 40 minutes
  • The user submitted video with the most views is “Charlie bit my finger”, with 834,956,899 views
  • On average, there are 1,000,000,000 mobile video views per day
  • In 2014, the most searched term was music. The second was Minecraft
  • 9% of U.S small businesses use Youtube
  • You can navigate YouTube in a total of 76 different languages(covering 95% of the Internet population)

Instagram statistics

  • There are 400 million Monthly Active Users on Instagram
  • Over 80 million photos are uploaded each day
  • There are 5 billion Instagram Likes per day
  • More than 40 billion photos have been shared so far
  • 90 percent of Instagram users are younger than 35
  • When Instagram introduced videos, more than 5 million were shared in 24 hours
  • Pizza is the most popular Instagrammed food, behind sushi and steak
  • 32% of US teens cite Instagram as their favourite social network

What more ?

Social media has become a new world in the same world we are, it is a new government and it has made the world to be a global village, it is helping to reconnect long lost friends, its helping to get jobs for some people, it is promoting social hook up, communication and expression. Today you post an image on Instagram and its replicated on Facebook and on twitter, you share a post on linked in and you can automatically replicate all that on tweeter and Facebook. Some organization are using social media on various ways that are impacting the local community

In Kenya we have the tweeting chief who uses twitter to communicate, govern and maintain security in his region using the tweeter platform. The Ushahidi uses social media to locate people in the aftermath of natural disasters and conflicts which is an efficient way to do so.

Billboard marketing, TV and radio marketing is being phased out by the social media, most people and companies are opting to take marketing to social media where you can define your target market and be able to analyze feedback real-time, I can call this interactive real-time marketing, media companies are also transiting from the old form of communication to social communication in some shows and most are now on internet broadcasting.

Social media and Data revolution


Before the social media data was manageable and it could be analyzed in a simple form, but after social media was embraced and basing on the statistics above, social media has seen the emergence of a new perspective of data technology, data analytics and data science. Companies like Facebook have moved from being a social company to developing their own way of retrieving, reading and storing data called the HIVE. Data is now key in most decision making and business intelligence, surveys are now being carried out on social media. Social media is a cake that we have eaten one side but we don’t know what to expect on the other side, it’s a mountain of surprises that will benefit people who will understand it best.


In Kenya we will be going back to the ballot box mid next year, my opinion is that 65% of this election wave will be determined by what will run through the social media, what will be posted on social media. Social media has become the number 1 platform campaign, over 70% of people on social media receive breaking news on social media even before the news get to television stations. The @ and # trend will be powerful to those who know how to use them. Fake account will be created, since in the present campaigns propaganda wins elections, social accounts will be hacked and above all money will be spent. In turkey Facebook and YouTube are banned and they say social media are the worst menace to the society. Is it really true???

I believe Social media have the power to change the world, who controls the power is completely a different question.

By savio wambugu

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