The world is on a technological binge. Consumers are subscribing to more and more services and purchasing more products that help them reach their fellow consumers at easier or faster rates. With these potentially exponential figures, statistics are needed for anyone interested in the industry. As a journalist, blogger, telecoms company etc., the figures present a numerical feast to show where various locales are headed in the turning of the world into a global village.
Here are the latest findings about Kenya from Sept-Dec 2016 and Jan-April 2017.
Smartphone connection now up by 40%
Entry level smartphones are now as cheap as Kes 10000. The ease of availability has allowed users to get connected to the internet. Smartphone use has gone up from 30% increase in 2014 to 40% by December 2016.
Mobile penetration increased to 90%
Mobile penetration refers to how many people within the population now have access to mobile phones; whether of the smart phone or kabambe variety. Meaning, as of December 2016, 90% of Kenyans had mobile phones. There are 37.8 million people with cell phones. Internetstatistics.com estimate that for every 100 people, 82 people have subscribed to mobile phones. We are ranked 35th in the world with regards to cell phone subscription.
The landline has become less popular with only an estimated 85,000 total subscriptions. For every 100 people there’s less than 1 telephone line subscription.
Internet has overtaken postal services as the preferred medium of communication
You could almost add an “obviously” to that title. Snail mail went the way of the dodo when email emerged as a faster, easier and cheaper way to communicate. Since then, social media has risen as a preferred method of communication. With 39,664,377 internet users as of December 2016 according to CA (Communication Authority of Kenya), applications such as Skype, Facebook, WhatsApp and good old SMS are more popular than email in most businesses and homes. State of Internet Report Kenya 2016 from ifree.co.ke suggests Internet traffic in Kenya has increased due to the reinforcement of international bandwidth capacity.
Nendo estimates that Facebook has 5.5 million active Kenyans. While Facebook itself, estimates it at 6.1 million Kenyan active users.
Nendo also estimates that Twitter has 2.2 million active Kenyan users, 3 million Instagram users, 10 million WhatsApp users, 1.5 million LinkedIn users.
The internet penetration in Kenya is at 77.8% with the percentage set to go higher as the country is undergoing a very successful digital migration.
CA estimates that terrestrial wireless data subscriptions are up 29,000 in December 2016 from 16,000 in September 2016; an 87.7% increase.
Mobile data subscriptions increased by 3.9% from approximately 26 million in September 2016 to approximately 27 million in December 2016.
Modem subscriptions had a 2.8% increase from an estimated 84,000 in September 2016 to 86,000 in December 2016.
Fibre optic subscriptions had an 18.0% increase from 33,000 in September 2016- 39,000 in December 2016.
Satellite data subscriptions were down from 598 in September 2016 to 584 in December.
Fixed DSL subscriptions were down from 2583 in September 2016 to 2483 in December 2016.
This is owing to the affordability of smartphones and mobile data provided by the numerous internet service providers available locally.
In total, CA says, there were 25,672,474 internet subscribers in September 2016 (up from 23,929,657 in 2015) and the number increased to 26,679,222 in December 2016.
The internet is a popular source for information with countless search engines able to get Kenyans their favoured information wells. The most popular search engine is Google. As of December 2016, according to Google Trends, the most popular general search topic was Nairobi.
In Arts and Entertainment, the most popular search was The Illuminati followed closely by The Gospel Industry.
Kenya’s preferred shopping portal in OLX followed by Jumia.
The most repeated search query was “Jobs in Kenya”.
The most searched video query on Youtube was “Kenyan songs”. As of May 2017, local artists Nyashinski and Khaligraph are among the top ranking trends on Youtube.
For their news about current events, Kenyans’ top search was Nation Media Group, with Daily Nation ranking second, The Star fifth and The Standard seventh.
The blogging scene has grown by 46%. According to State of Internet Report Kenya 2016 from ifree.co.ke, the monthly visits have gone up from 12.4 million to 18.1 million with the most popular blogs visited were lifestyle blogs. The lifestyle category has seen the highest growth, recording 69%, followed by the business category with 46% and creative writing with 36%.
The different subsectors in internet usage have seen increased usage. Mobile phone use has seen the highest upsurge. Mobile data has also grown at a high rate due to affordability.
Smart phones have become popular as they are used to stream videos, read and chat over social media platforms.
Introduction of next generation technologies will continue to alter the internet use market.
State of Internet Report Kenya 2016 from ifree.co.ke