Lower middle-income earners lead in social media usage – study

July 23, 2019 (4 weeks ago)
Facebook and WhatsApp are the most popular among low income users who live in informal settlements/AFP

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 23 – Lower middle-income earners are the leading users of social media in Nairobi, a new study reveals.

Titled ‘Social Media Consumption; trends and practices’, the study reveals that middle income earners are the second biggest users, followed by low income earner.

Middle high-income earners are the least users.

According to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, lower middle income earners get between Sh30,000 to Sh49,000 while middle income earners get between Sh50,000 to Sh99,999.

Facebook and WhatsApp are the most popular among low income users who live in informal settlements.

Countrywide, WhatsApp has marginally surpassed Facebook in usage at 88.6 percent against 88.5 percent respectively.

LinkedIn, Twitter, Yahoo and Snapchat remain to be the most popular platforms for middle-income earners.

Snapchat is mostly used by Nairobi’s high-income earners.

“Most Kenyans are using social media platforms for entertainment, education, job related and social issues,” says the study.

United Sates International University- Africa (USIU)’s SIMELab conducted the study, which sampled 3,269 respondents aged between 14 and 55 years from 8 counties.

Overall, most Kenyans aged between 21-35 years spend more than 3 hours on social media daily.

Further, men have been found to be more active on social media, with about 66 percent of Kenyan men spending between two to three hours using social media.

Men take to Facebook 62.1 percent, Twitter 70 percent, WhatsApp 61.9 percent and Instagram 62.4 percent for personal identity issues such as personal stability, social status, need for self-respect.

In contrast, Kenyan women turn to Facebook at 44.7 percent, Twitter 39.8 percent, WhatsApp 46.6 percent and Instagram at 52.3 to escape some things in society that include releasing tension and shifting attention from unpleasant things.

Generally, those aged between 26 and 35 years use Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, YouTube and Google+ almost equally.

Overall, those aged between 14 and 20 years highly prefer Snapchat, while Kenyans who are of 21-25 years mostly like Instagram.

When it comes to those aged 26-35 years, LinkedIn is their most popular platform. Yahoo and WhatsApp are the most popular among those aged 36-45 years and 46 years and above respectively.

“Most people access social media using their mobile phones although most people living in rural areas use cybercafé for access. They also tend to use social media at night,” says the study.

This comes at a time when data by Communications Authority (CA) said mobile phone penetration in the country has a reached 100 percent as active customer subscriptions hit 46.6 million.

Additionally, in January, CA said internet penetration had hit 112 percent to reach 51 million Kenyans.

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