The Nigerian populace has over the years been involved in interactive social relations and information dissemination. Quite amusingly, the statistics from the Ministry of Communications posits that about 75% of Nigerian population who are on the internet use social media. This vividly shows how that quite a mammoth chunk of Nigerians (specifically teens and young adults) are quite active in the self-crafted world of the digital age.
The idea of social networking in the cyberspace has been utilized by Nigerians for different reasons. Social media platforms are potent ways to reach out to loved ones, attend conferences or job interviews, link up with other professionals in a field as well as advertise and market your products or for sometimes self-branding.
Nigeria for one is known to be a society where mostly, all are “self-made” and upload their very creativity through any medium of publicity. Self-expression and latest projects are projected on platforms for the world to see and appreciate. Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are other means through which the world can get to know the beauty in Nigerian art and culture as portrayed by different Nigerian artiste and celebrities who became well known by exploiting the gold in the digital social world such as Denrele Edun, Linda Ikeji, Lasisi Elenu, Mc Lively, Debola Lagos, to mention a few.
Amazingly, in recent times, the Nigerian society has crafted a niche for itself in the social media world through the apt use of myriads of social media platforms prominent of which are Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Google Mail. Narrowing the statistics down to these popular ones in Nigeria, they rank as follows in their user strength: Facebook (82.2%), Twitter (6.39%), YouTube (2.71%) and Instagram (1.62%). A research recently conducted by Kaspersky Lab revealed that Nigerians spend a better part of their time on Internet-powered social media rather than watch video contents and download music.
Nigerians, however, spend a fortune on accessing the services provided for by social media. Facebook, for instance has its biggest market in Nigeria in ratio with other African countries with over 20 million Nigerians as active users accessing it through their mobile devices and this consequently means an upsurge in the money spent to access it. Statistics show that Nigerians spend about 197 billion naira on internet data every month to telecommunications operators. This interestingly is not showing signs of reducing any time soon (or ever) due to the fact that Nigeria is viewed by the social media creators to be one of the fastest growing in the world as relating to Information technology; this is reflected in a research by Mozilla and Research ICT Africa.
A question of what Nigerians do online can only be answered by the urgent need of individuals who use the social media platforms and whatever they use them for. This reasons are what have in themselves culminated into making Nigeria a gigantic force to reckon with in the social cyberworld.
By Egbewale Muyiwa, Content Writer at DigiLaw