A few weeks ago, twitter announced improvements to their service with the expansion of local trends to various countries / cities around the world.
“Almost any topic you can imagine is being discussed on Twitter. The most mentioned ones get highlighted as a Trending Topic in real time, letting people zero in on hot news in specific locations as it’s bubbling.
Trending Topics is in high demand from folks in cities that aren’t yet on the list, so today, we're expanding local trends to include 14 new countries and 6 new cities*. These new locations include some of our fastest growing markets”
As a user of twitter I immediately looked up all the new cities where you could follow the trending topics and immediately noticed not a single African city was listed .
Although twitter have promised to expand the cities overtime, it got me thinking..
Why is it that every time a service like this is introduced, Africa is somehow overlooked but in reality these places have very high adoption rates of these services.
I constantly tell everybody , never underestimate the power of our youth!
In many of these countries you do happen to have growing youth populations interested in technology just like everywhere else. You don’t need computers to go online these days , mobile phones (smart phones) are cheaper and as a result a lot more people are online.
Type up Nigeria or any major city like Lagos or the capital Abuja in twitter and there is always some dialogue taking place.
Back in July, I was surprised one day when suddenly the name of a Nigerian Rap artist Wande Coal popped up as a trending topic and continued rising like that for some hours. Some controversial picture of the artist had apparently appeared on twitter hence the trending.
When facebook launched , I personally didn’t make a connection with Africa straight away but I’m proud to say I have seen several African countries embrace the idea of facebook both young and old infact In Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan today has an admirable fan base on facebook which could match most leaders and has taken it a step further to dialogue directly with Nigerians.
In this case the idea of face book has gone beyond the original objective and I would say has entered the realm of governance. (Who would have imagined that)
Services like twitter can one day play a major role in emergency situations or simply be used as a tool for information dissemination, with so many elections happening around Africa I hope we'll soon notice
@ # TrendingLagos, #TrendingAbuja,#TrendingNigeria and #AfricanCities.
Check out this BBC chart of the growth of Internet usage around the world, in Africa, all countries experienced growth but look at the figures for Nigeria.