Why mobile is the future in emerging markets

By Chris Dawson September 17, 2015 - 9:39 pm

Every Internet company out there has been telling us that mobile is the future and numbers are staggering such as eBay with over 279 million app downloads of their mobile app.

What we tend to forget is that in emerging markets, mobile is even more important. Facebook has shared new statistics revealing that 2.2 million Kenyans use Facebook every day and 4.5 million each month, while 7.1 million Nigerians use Facebook daily and 15 million are active every month. Almost all these people are coming to Facebook on a mobile device: 100% of Nigerian monthly users are active on mobile as are 95% of Kenya’s monthly users.

This follows the recent announcement that Facebook’s active user population in Africa has grown 20% to 120 million in June 2015 from 100 million in September 2014. More than 80% of these people access Facebook from their mobile phones. Now, 60% of all Internet users in Africa are active on Facebook.

Nunu Ntshingila, newly appointed Head of Africa at Facebook, said “Mobile is not a trend; it’s the fastest adoption of disruptive technology in history of communication. It’s also an incredibly personal device regardless of where a person lives or how they connect, and businesses need to reach people where they are, not where they were, in an authentic, personal and relevant way”.

What this tells us is that if you want to trade with Africa, not only is Facebook a good place to start building awareness but that mobile is absolutely key in your ecommerce strategy. Ecommerce in Africa is still in it’s infancy, but keep a watching eye as it’s the next big emerging market with around 1.2 billion potential customers all of whom are likely to make their first Internet purchases via their mobile phones.

Key Facebook stats

Kenya Flag

Kenya: Q2 2015

  • 2.2 million total daily active users
  • 2.1 million mobile daily active users
  • 4.5 million total monthly active users
  • 4.3 million (95%) mobile monthly active users


Nigeria Flag

Nigeria: Q2 2015

  • 7.1 million total daily active users
  • 6.9 million mobile daily active users
  • 15 million total monthly active users
  • 15 million (100%) mobile monthly active users


South Africa Fllag

South Africa: Q2 2015

  • 7.3 million total daily active users
  • 7 million mobile daily active users
  • 12 million total monthly active users
  • 12 million (100%) mobile monthly active users

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