Facebook Reaches 100m Africans Every Month

Africa Mobile pic blokes in water with mobFacebook is reaching 100m users a month from across the African continent, with 80 per cent of those users joining via mobile, its latest figures show.

As with many emerging markets, mobile adoption in most African nations has vastly outpaced desktop adoption, with many consumers first connecting to the internet through smartphones.

“In Africa, we are seeing explosive growth and incredible momentum across the region,” said Rob Norman, chief digital officer of Global Group M. “At the same time, when you look at the staggering cost of connectivity in many countries, mobile services need to deliver maximum utility on the biggest range of devices and consumer the smallest amount of data, which is exactly what Facebook provides.”

Many networks across African nations have signed deals with Facebook to “zero rate” the service, meaning that data from Facebook does not count towards users bills or data limits. However, this practice has drawn criticism from net neutrality advocates.

The growth of mobile internet and Facebook across Africa has enabled brands and organisations to access new audiences that were previously difficult to reach. Healthcare companies like Unilever have partnered with Facebook to test marketing solutions across countries like Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya.

“At Unilever we believe in putting people first,” said Jay Altschuler, director of global media. “Its our mission to connect our brands with the people we serve in order to help improve peoples health and well-being and enhance livelihoods. And we have found in Africa the best way to engage the people we serve is through mobile.”