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93% Of Youth In Kenya Want A Smartphone & Social Media Is 90% Of Their Mobile Internet Consumption

Earlier today, I was reading the Daily Nation where Consumer Insight, a highly regarded research company in Kenya, released research findings from a survey they conducted face-to-face with 1,301 Kenyan Youth in February 2013 in Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, Eldoret, Nyeri and Meru.

The research covers a whole bunch of interesting findings including some disturbing ones like the rise of sexting by early teens where 47% of have either sent or received text messages with sexual undertones. That aside, I was more interested in drilling down into the digital media consumption and technology trends by Kenya’s Youth which were kindly availed to me by Ndirangu Maina who is the Managing Director of Consumer Insight earlier this afternoon (Thanks, Ndirangu!).

Some of the key findings from the Kenya Youth research are as follows:

  • 93% of Youth in Kenya want a Smartphone as their next phone.
  • Social media dominates Internet consumption between the ages of 7 and 25, peaking at 87% ahead of downloading music, research and email.
  • TV and radio are the most consumed medias overall by Kenyan Youth but as they get older Internet consumption increases substantially.
  • Computer usage at home is dominated by Internet usage.
  • Where Kenyan Youth are concerned, Internet usage increases from pre-teens, through the teens and is most popular with post-teens.
  • Internet usage for Youth in Kenya is typically “snack-sized”, meaning that sessions typically last under 30 minutes for less.
  • Youth in Kenya typically access the Internet around 4 times a week on average and this increases with teens and post-teens.
  • Internet access is dominated via mobile devices in Kenya at over 90% on average across all age categories.
  • 2 out of 3 Youth in Kenya now either own a mobile device or have access to one.
  • Safaricom is by far the most popular mobile network in Kenya amongst the Youth.

The findings from the Youth research in Kenya provide some compelling insights that serve to tell what the technology future is going for this important and large section of the population. If I was to use my crystal ball, these are the five predictions I can foresee:

  1. Mobile Apps: Mobile apps will be the next big thing as the Youth move to low-cost Smartphones in droves. Local mobile apps therefore could effectively leverage this coming trend.
  2. Social Media: Social media is the “destination” that brands need to leverage to create engagement with the Youth in Kenya. This is where they “live” online and therefore brands have to leverage this fact.
  3. Mobile Ads: Mobile advertising will find a home with the Youth in Kenya as the place where brand engagement can happen seeing that is where they burn most of their Internet time there although it will have to conceived for effectiveness in short “snack-sized” usage sessions.
  4. Mobile Data: Mobile data usage will continue to grow as the Youth in Kenya adopt Smartphones and start using mobile apps and other data heavy features and functionalities. Therefore, the telcos that feed fast data cost-effectively and efficiently to the Youth in Kenya will win this round.
  5. Digital Media: TV, radio and other traditional media will start to lose their relevance, even if only marginally over time as the Youth in Kenya start to spend more and more time on the Internet consuming and using digital media.
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7 Comments

  1. June 26, 2013 at 6:38 am — Reply

    […] 93% Of Youth In Kenya Want A Smartphone & Social Media Is 90% Of Their Mobile Internet Consumpti… {Moses Kemibaro} […]

  2. June 26, 2013 at 11:37 am — Reply

    Great article thanks Moses!

    • June 26, 2013 at 12:32 pm — Reply

      @Bronwyn no worries & thanks for the positive feedback. It’s been ages? Hope your well.

      • Hellen
        July 4, 2013 at 3:31 pm — Reply

        Hello,
        A new research by Korean scientists say over reliance in technology has is causing digital dementia among the youth…. youth who cnnot ‘smartly’ use their phones. what os your take?

        • July 4, 2013 at 6:44 pm — Reply

          Hard to say really? The youth are generally highly adept at using technology. They live in it so to speak? I doubt it means they are demented.

  3. Edwin Mulwa
    February 11, 2015 at 9:07 am — Reply

    Moses, this is a very good and useful article!

    • February 17, 2015 at 7:13 am — Reply

      @edwin thanks. Its kind of old but still paints a picture of where this already going

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