It is correct to say that Nigerians are embracing technology at a pace that is faster than the country’s economy. A new public opinion poll conducted by NOIPolls shows that 61 percent of the country’s population is now using the internet.
This translates to about 120 million Nigerians who are now using the internet, thanks to the affordable and second-hand phones that have found their way into the country.
According to the report released by NOIPolls on Wednesday in Abuja, of the proportion of respondents that claimed to have access to the internet, an overwhelming majority (94 percent) indicated that they mostly access the internet through their mobile phones.
“This proportion was equally high across the six geopolitical zones, and across age demographics; indicating a wide use of smartphones in the country,” NOIPolls said.
In the report, the Abuja-based institution said the wide access to the internet on mobile phones across Nigeria shows that there is a huge market and high demand for smartphones in Nigeria, giving credence to the claim that Nigeria is Africa’s biggest smartphone market.
Analysis of the report revealed that 70 percent of young Nigerians aged between 18 – 35 years have access to the internet compared to 56 percent for those aged between 36 and 60 years and 28 percent for those aged 61years and above.
Most of the respondents (95 percent) who access the internet revealed that they use the internet to engage social networking sites and applications.
“This finding also held true across geo-political zones and across various age demographics. On the level of awareness, results show that Facebook (95 percent) and WhatsApp (94 percent) are the most widely known social networking sites in the country, followed by Instagram (50 percent), and Twitter (42 percent), among others,” the report read.
Polls on the proportion of respondents using each social networking platform produced the following results – Facebook (86 percent), WhatsApp (84 percent), Instagram (19 percent), Twitter (11 percent), and Snapchat (2 percent).
However, with regards to preference, WhatsApp (51 percent) is the most preferred social networking site/application, followed by Facebook (45 percent), Twitter (2 percent), and Instagram (2 percent).
Some of the leading reasons Nigerians provided for their preference of WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter respectively include; “It’s Simple and Fast” (26 percent), “Easy to Connect to People With” (20 percent), “The Platform Allows Government to Obtain Feedback from The Public” (31 percent) and “It seems more real than other platforms”(47 percent).
Regarding the average number of hours spent in a day on social media sites/applications, Twitter captured the largest daily cumulative value, as 19 percent of Twitter users disclosed that they spend 10 hours and more engaging in it.
This was followed by WhatsApp with 8 percent of users revealing they spend upwards of 10 hours daily on average.
“Furthermore, the poll results show that respondents considered Facebook (98 percent), Instagram (88 percent), WhatsApp (77 percent), and Snapchat (74 percent) most effective for advertising, while Twitter (98 percent) was considered most effective for gaining attention on topical issues and trending subjects.
With regards to security, the poll results show that 12 percent of Nigerians reported that their social media accounts have been hacked previously; and of this proportion, 91 percent mentioned Facebook as the affected platform, while 7 percent confirmed that their WhatsApp account has been hacked.
“The CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey recently visited Nigeria and for good reason as 20 percent of the respondents reported that they have a Twitter account. This figure amounts to about 39.6 million Nigerians,” NOIPolls said.
Further analysis of the poll revealed that young people aged between 18 and 35 years are twice as likely to have a twitter account (26 percent) than older people aged 36 years and above (13 percent).
Among those that have a Twitter account, 45 percent disclosed that they are actively involved on Twitter – by sending out Tweets or pictures, or by participating in conversations or other activities using their accounts.
According to the result of the survey, Twitter users in Nigeria mostly use the platform to get trending news (33 percent), interact with friends (21 percent) and for advertising businesses, amongst other things.
“Interestingly, a higher proportion (29 percent) of Twitter users acknowledged that giving voice to many voiceless Nigerians is the greatest impact Twitter has made in Nigeria,” the report read.