Blackberry rules South Africa’s Twitterland with 2 in every 5 mentions

The latest World Wide Worx report indicates that there are now more than 8 million South Africans on the Internet. The report further stated that growth in Mzansi‘s Internet penetration , now at 17%, was driven by mobile phones with Internet access capability. A prediction is that 2013 will see 20% Internet penetration, or 10 million users.

Related post: Mobile data usage to ramp up in South Africa in 2012… with provisos

The latest Internet penetration report inspired this post. The key question I am answering is what devices were used to tweet about 50 randomly sampled South African brands, based on archived tweets. The only criterion for inclusion of a brand in this analysis was that there must be a minimum of  300 tweet mentions about it at the time of drawing the data, using TheArchivist app.

Some quick stats:

  • The 50 brands that made it onto my analysis list came from 31 categories (based on my definition); including entertainment events, celebrities, airlines, professional soccer clubs, radio stations, TV soapies, retail chains, print publications, politicians and provinces.
  • The category with largest number of brands (6)  was Celebrities , and it included Bonang_M and Steve_Hofmeyr.
  • The sum of tweet mentions from all the 50 participating brands came to 524 665.
  • Brands with most and least tweet mentions were Nandos (331 545) and WitsUniversity (305) respectively.
  • Analysis of tweeting devices was based on the following Source of Tweet report by The Archivist:
Vodacom archived tweet mentions ast at 11 May 2012

Vodacom archived tweet mentions as at 11 May 2012

Key insights

  • Half of all the analysed tweets about the selected 50 brands were posted using mobile operating systems, lead by RIM.
  • 2 in every 5 tweets were posted from Blackberry devices. I predict that the smartphone landscape is going to change by 2013, given aggressive marketing and growing penetration of Samsung smartphones, followed by iPhone and tablets.
  • There are exceptions and unique insights worth mentioning:
    • With brands that incorporate social networking in their marketing programs, e.g. 5FM, a sizable portion of tweeting activity came from the companies themselves, as shown by 1 out of 2 tweets being posted from a desktop device.
    • 2 out of every 5 tweet mentions about print publications were about content, mostly news, that was shared from the company sites, using the Tweet Button app.
    • iPhone’s overall contribution to tweeting traffic of the selected brands was 0.75 in 10. However, the top 3 iPhone brands were – SAA (3 in every 10 tweets), Nandos (1 in every 4) and MTN (1,5 in every 10).
    • The only brand with discernible iPad tweeting activity was Gareth Cliff (1,7 in every 10 tweets). A possible explanation is that Gareth, who tweets on average 10 times a day, and whose 40% of Twitter activity is made up of retweeting, uses mainly the iPad for this purpose.

PLEASE NOTE: Accuracy of the report cannot be guaranteed, as it was based solely on The Archivist as the source, see their disclaimer in the image above.



  • Nuffdotty – where thoughts on the subject of education, mostly relating to South Africa, are shared
  • Diski4Life – a blog about development of South African soccer post World Cup 2010

2 thoughts on “Blackberry rules South Africa’s Twitterland with 2 in every 5 mentions

  1. “I predict that the smartphone landscape is going to change by 2013, given aggressive marketing and growing penetration of Samsung smartphones, followed by iPhone and tablets.”
    I disagree with your prediction, reason being: I believe that most people use RIM products for social networks because of the low data rates which comes with it (BIS). A number of people I’ve engaged with over the past few weeks are considering crossing over to ‘Samsung/Apple’ (me included) but they would like to keep their Blackberry’s because of BIS and BBM.
    Unless other mobile operators come up with with a Data plan to compete with BIS, I think Blackberry will continue to lead. Personal opinion

    • Valid point there, @Joji.

      My prediction is based on the following: global trends show that RIM is taking a serious beating in the developed countries; Such trends tend to be replicated in the developing markets.RIM are running the risk of using dated software on their devices, and missing out on the exponentially changing digital wave. The example is how the Palybook has dismally failed to capitalize on the success of the Blackberry device and has thus missed out on the tablet boom. On the other hand, there is an increase of affordable data packages that are driven by undersea broadband capable developments and soon-to-be-entrenched price war in the local mobile telecoms market.

      As they say, only time will tell.

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