Rising Mobile Phone Use In Africa Is Winning Facebook More Eyeballs

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Written by Kevin Mwanza

*Updated with share price rise in last paragraph

Africa is the fastest growth region for social media giant Facebook and increased use of mobile phones is earning it even more users on the continent.

The number of active Facebook users on the continent jumped 20 percent to 120 million in the 12 months to September.

Facebook says 80 percent of these users login through mobile phones, with 60 percent of all internet users in Africa being active on the social media platform. It is no wonder people in Nigeria think Facebook is the internet.

“Mobile is not a trend; it’s the fastest adoption of disruptive technology in history of communication,” Nunu Ntshingila, Facebook’s head of Africa, said in a statement.

Facebook opened its first office on the continent in June as it planned to grow in the region that is largely untapped due to low internet penetration.

The company said Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya lead in the number of users login in every month with 15 million, 12 million and 4.5 million people visiting the platform every month from these countries respectively.

Almost all, or more than 95 percent, of these user are on mobile.

The use of mobile phones across Africa has helped the region leapfrog the fixed telephone era which most of the developed world went through in the 80’s and early 90’s. It has also fast tracked technological adoptions and financial access for many Africans.

With internet penetration and the use of mobile money growing, other services, such as social media, have piggybacked on this revolution to reach a market they previously could not access.

Facebook shares jumped 1.36 percent to $91.70 each on Thursday after the social media network company reported its first statistics from Africa, The Street reported.