Forget the story of the politicians who invented and brought Facebook into Nigeria, 2015 was a big win for technology and the digital media space. If people were still wondering if social media was working, this year provided results plus extra. In fact the social and digital media landscape took a leap this year and here are some events and features that defined it.
The Spike: Elections and Beyond
The Nigerian election was a massive validation for Nigerian youths and the power of social media in Governance. It seemed impossible but the massive amount of tweets, Facebook updates and videos generated during the elections made the global digital landscape pay attention to the outcome and it was massive.
Most websites running real time elections reports like Punch, Sahara Reporters, Premium Times and Channels recorded massive internet traffic visits that if harnessed could have led to more internet advertising dollars. A website like News24 Nigeria clocked over 55-million page views in four-days; with so many other election monitoring apps recording similar feat. However, one major victory was that technology was put on trial in this elections and it came out in flying colours.
Mobile Penetration gains traction
Sixty-seven per cent of Africa’s population, estimated to be about 1.13 billion, now have mobile phones. This is not only making people communicate more, it is changing the way businesses and people connect, share, learn, make buying decisions and ultimately buy. Nigeria remains one of the fastest growing smartphone markets globally and this brings about its own new level of efficiency in banking, health, management, business communication, agriculture and more.
Mobile Money Soars in Nigeria
In case you didn’t know, over 70% of all global mobile money payments come from Africa and Kenya is responsible for a chunk of that. As Africa is truly heralding the era of mobile payments, a lot of businesses are looking at Nigeria to supply the huge numbers transactions require for them to make a profit, validate their businesses and also serve as fulcrum into reaching all other markets in Africa and across the world.
While peer to peer payments gained tractions in Kenya, Nigeria’s mobile market took to a slow start until GTBank and Stanbic IBTC led the way with its USSD banking products. The massive amount of utility payments including recharging of phone and data airtime, utility bills have helped mobile payments snowball in the Nigerian market space affirming the long held fact the copying and pasting marketing models in Africa needs a cautious approach. I believe the coming year will release a lot more possibilities for Mobile payments in Nigeria.
Facebook Soldiers on
With everyone and anyone predicting the death of Facebook, the brand continues to soldier on. In fact, this year alone, Facebook claimed the true legendary status of a unicorn. All its buy-overs including Instagram and WhatsApp have continued to churn out impressive stats. Even the simple Facebook Messenger feature has become one of the most downloaded apps this year and the brand is not resting yet. Experimenting with Facebook videos and its own in-house content, the coming year will see Facebook take on YouTube for internet attention and advertising dollars.
Twitter gets the biting edge
If there was any other social network influencing the political space, it was Twitter. If politicians had their way they wouldn’t have banned the platform from the Nigerian space forever. Twitter has contented to be the main source of breaking news and continued to define the talking points in the Nigerian digital space.
Microsoft speaks our language
If you didn’t notice this, it will soon be glaring to all. Microsoft have re-strategized and are working their way back into our mobile consciousness. This year saw Bing taking chip off Google’ dominance of the search engine industry. Launching a pocket-friendly multi-software Office 365 bundle for single users, Microsoft is gradually gaining users among Nigerians while battling to retrieve its users from the grasp of pirated products.
Instagram gains traction
Instagram is the new Facebook, as Nigerians have found a new love with this photo-centric mobile application. As the number of monthly users continue to climb beyond 400 million monthly users beating Twitter in numbers. Facebook has also opened up its advertising partnership program which will see it declaring handsome profits by the end of the year.
Bloggers, Money and the Law
Bloggers made money and some made jails. As blogging continues to gain validation as an income generating avenue, the legal implications will also come home to roost. Many more people are jumping on the blogging train with the hope of making lots of Dollars. Bloggers are also realising blogging is not just a hobby, they will be treated like journalists who flouted the ethics of the business. Bloggers like Seun Oloketuyi and Emmanuel Ojo had brushes with the law enforcements and Linda Ikeji broke the internet with her palatial home in Banana Island.
Cyber Attacks on the Rise
Bank account hacking and internet attacks was taken to a higher levels. Apparently international hackers plying their trade internationally imported and deployed their skills within the Nigerian market place. While the case of hackers and attacks are becoming more sophisticated, ethical security experts will also be continually challenged to stay ahead, informed and in-tune with international best practices while unsuspecting internet users need to be more wary of phishing sites.
Comedians – the new Skit Artists
If you didn’t watch and share a comedy skit this year, I will assume you don’t have a smartphone. With the emergence of internet enabled phone and camera, everyone became a rookie camera man and if you have a talent you want to showcase, the only excuses are your own personal limitations.
2015 was a fantastic year and I believe 2016 is set to open up more vistas and opportunities for everyone – individuals, businesses and brands.