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Facebook: South Africa’s Biggest Social Network

Facebook is a major social media platform in South Africa and has emerged as an important tool for South African citizens through the creation of various community based groups and pages that make the sharing of information and digital content easy, relevant and accessible. It has also made digital marketing accessible for small business owners who have the capacity to connect with major audiences at a relatively low cost, just by being on Facebook. Although using the platform for marketing purposes will ultimately require a dedicated budget to make sure that your content reaches the audiences it needs to help your business grow, Facebook is by far the social media platform that will allow you to access the biggest portion of the South African population.

Whether you acknowledge it or not, your perception of it does not curb its limitless reach potential and definitely does not compromise the impact it has on different people, brands and institutions at large on a daily basis.

Facebook currently boasts over 170 million users in Africa, an already massive number of which South Africans made up at least 14 million in 2016 (Vermulen, 2016). The number of South African Twitter users was reported to be slowing dramatically, only increasing from 7.4 million in 2015 to 7.7 million in 2016 (Vermulen, 2016). This makes Facebook the front-runner in terms of social media influence and impact in a South African context, and an important platform for South African brands and businesses to be active on if they want to reach local audiences through digital marketing.

When opening their first office in Africa in Johannesburg in 2015, Facebook stated that the office would support the significant growth in businesses and people using Facebook, and the growth has already been significant, with the business moving to bigger premises this year (M&G Online, 2015). This expansion reflects the growth of the network in Africa and shows the need for the technology company to support the use of their product and the development it can bring in our country. According to the Facebook Business site, Facebook aims to capitalize on the large number of new African users coming to the platform in their attempt to create a world that is more connected than ever (Facebook Business, 2014).

Facebook Business, 2014. “Connecting 100 Million People in Africa” [Accessed online at https://www.facebook.com/business/news/US-connecting-100-million-people-in-africa].

Mail&Guardian, 2015. “Facebook opens first African office”, M&G Online [Accessed online at https://mg.co.za/article/2015-06-30-facebook-opens-first-africa-office].

Vermulen, J. 2016. “The number of Facebook and Twitter users in South Africa”, MyBroadband [Accessed online at https://mybroadband.co.za/news/internet/180186-the-number-of-facebook-and-twitter-users-in-south-africa.html}

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