Tag Archives: Facebook

Facebook Reaches 16 Million Users in South Africa

Facebook has passed 16 million users in South Africa, according to regional director for Facebook Africa, Nunu Ntshingila.

Speaking to the SABC, Ntshingila said that the Facebook Africa branch was currently focused on a number of areas including new policies and products, as well as “looking after” a number of businesses in South Africa that make use of the platform “At the end of the day, this office is the centre of innovation,” she said.

“We always have our clients, businesses, and community owners here just to sit down with them and make sure that we are responding to some important issues – and we are learning from them.”

The 16 million represents a major increase – over 4 million more users since the 12 million recorded in September 2016 according to a  WorldWideWorx report.

The report highlighted that while Facebook’s numbers continued to grow, the platform was also seeing increasing engagement. Over the course of 2016, the average number of likes per post grew from 80 to 108.

The average number of comments per post increased from 10 to 12, and, on average, posts are also shared more – growing from 6 to 11 shares per post.

Originally published in BusinessTech

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Nigeria Lags Behind Kenya and South Africa Again

Facebook Grows 16% In South Africa, 6% In Nigeria, 18% In Kenya

Some 14-million South Africans use Facebook every month, the social network says, a 16.6% increase in the year since it last released figures.

Nigeria’s monthly active users (MAU) have grown to 16-million (from 15-million) which is a 6.67% increase, as of the first quarter of 2016. Kenya has 5.3-million (up from 4.3-million or 18.6%). Half of these figures in Kenya are daily active users (DAU), and just less in Nigeria.

About 90% of South Africa’s monthly users are on mobile, and 95% of daily users. Some 8-million people use Facebook daily in South Africa, or 62%.

Just over half (52%) of Internet users in South Africa are on Facebook and it calculates 66% of its consumers are looking at the social network (which it calls dual-screeners) during a show.

Last year when Facebook opened its first office in Africa, it said its users in Africa had grown 20% over the figures it provided in September 2014.

Giving her first public address since being appointed Head of Africa last year, Nunu Ntshingila, 51, says there almost 800-million people that are yet to be connected in Africa.

“As Facebook this is certainly something that is important for our mission and important for our platform. Later this year, we will be launching the satellite,” she says of Facebook’s initiative with Eutelsat to provide internet coverage across sub-Saharan Africa.

Ntshingila says this satellite will help increase how people connect to the internet “to make sure we continue to connect, not at the [current] rate, but we need to fast forward the rate people are connecting to the internet.”

She adds: “If people are connecting, it means businesses can connect to them and connect faster. We think connection is important for business, but we think it is important at a personal level for the development of this country.”

Facebook says 88% of South Africans use their smartphones daily and spend an average of 5 hours and 13 minutes a day on their phones. It says the top three social networks are WhatsApp (84%), Facebook (81%) and Youtube (74%).

Facebook Free Basics has connected 25-million people in 37 countries, says Mark Hamilton,

Facebook’s head of marketing for Middle East, Africa, Turkey and Israel. “Africa is a key pillar of our future.”

Source: Forbes

Mark Zuckerberg And Priscilla Chan’s Fund Dishes out $24 Million To Train African Engineers

For its first lead investment, Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan’s social issues-minded fund is looking to help startup Andela train more engineers in Africa to get tech jobs.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is leading a new $24 million Series B round of funding into Andela, the first lead investment for the fund set up by Facebook’s billionaire founder and his wife, a trained pediatrician, last year. Venture firm GV joined the round, alongside existing investors Spark Capital, Omidyar Network, Learn Capital and CRE Ventures.

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Andela has trained just under 200 engineers in its two years in operation, accepting them from a pool of 40,000 applicants and giving them six months of intensive training before sending them to spend two weeks at technology partners. After that, the Andela developers sign on to those companies full-time, working out of Andela campuses it operates in Lagos and Nairobi.

“The goal is to cultivate a next generation of founders and CTOs of great companies across Africa,” says CEO Jeremy Johnson, who made the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2012 for a previous startup, 2U and cofounded Andela with Iyin Aboyeji in 2014.

Andela wasn’t looking to raise the money just yet, says Johnson, but after meeting the CZI team at an event hosted by the startup’s previous investors at Learn Capital, Johnson met directly with Zuckerberg. “My first thought was, how seriously is he really taking this, and how much do he and Priscilla really care?” says Johnson.

Zuckerberg and Chan really cared. In May, their initiative hired a new education chief, former deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Education James Shelton. ”We live in a world where talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not. Andela’s mission is to close that gap,” Zuckerberg said in a statement. “Companies get access to great developers, and developers in Africa get the opportunity to use their skills and support their communities. Priscilla and I believe in supporting innovative models of learning wherever they are around the world—and what Andela is doing is pretty amazing.”

Access to Zuckerberg gives Andela an ally who just happens to be arguably the most visible software developer in the world, says Johnson. Fellow new investor GV, meanwhile, clicked the most of a trio of more traditional venture firms that met with the startup.

Andela plans to open up a presence in a third African nation after Kenya and Nigeria later this year and opened a San Francisco office last month. The company plans to double its just under 200 developers trained to date over the next year.

Johnson says Andela isn’t profitable and isn’t trying to be, while focusing on scaling its presence; the partnerships with tech companies including Google, Microsoft and startups such as 6Sense and the Muse, however, brings in “real” revenue, he says.

At 6Sense, two Andela fellows are now considered part of the full-time staff after overcoming some initial skepticism from cofounder and CTO Viral Bajaria. It wasn’t until the fellows were able to spend time onsite with 6Sense that they were really able to ramp up. ”I knew the fellows would fit right in and do great the moment they took a vague idea of ‘make this javascript robust’ and figured out what libraries to use, why, pros and cons of each, etc.,” says Bajaria. “They are self-starters.”

The company’s biggest challenge is to prove that the quality of its graduates can be maintained at larger numbers. “When companies interact with Andela developers right now, they think, this person is sort of amazing,” says Johnson. Perhaps new investor Zuckerberg knows a thing or two about maintaining engineering quality at scale.

Source: Forbes