Internet use in the country has seen tremendous growth and this is thanks to the wide adoption of mobile phones, 3G and 4G network rollout and the laying of fiber optic cables countrywide. According to the latest figures from Communications Authority of Kenya, there are 51.1 million Internet users which was a 12.5% jump in a quarter, which is quite impressive.
Bloggers Association of Kenya released their annual State of the Internet in Kenya 2017 report and it has brought to light some interesting information.
Starting with social media use in the country, BAKE quoted Nendo who have estimated the number of monthly active users on various social media platforms. WhatsApp is quoted to have 12 million, Facebook (7.1 million), YouTube (8 million), Instagram (4 million), Twitter (1 million), LinkedIn (1 million) and Snapchat (0.25 million). In their 2016 report they said that there were 3 million Instagram users, 10 million WhatsApp users and 6.1 million Facebook users. The new addition to the fold is the number of active monthly active user count of Snapchat and it still has a long way to go to be popular in a market like Kenya.
Also during this period, we have seen how Twitter is used by Kenyans to talk about important issues. This includes the likes of #KenyaDecides and #ElectionsKE that were custom emoji done by Twitter for the election and others like #StareheNiBonnie and #JoinBonnie1MillionChallenge for Boniface Mwangi’s Starehe parliamentary campaign.
When it comes to blogs, BAKE has seen the popularity of the BAKE Awards, where it began with 13 categories in 2011 and 400 blogs nominated to now 10,000 blog submissions for 23 categories in 2017. In 2018, 3 new categories were added.
Another developments that were documented included the use of bots on Telegram by a Kenyan developer that could create polls countrywide. Also Ongair with their Uchaguzi bot allowed users to ask the bot questions about what candidates were running.