Reality Check: Lagos People are mute on Twitter

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Christian Purefoy has an interesting infographic from Portland Communications that shows the Twitter activity of major cities across Africa. with all the noise we think that we make on Twitter in Nigeria, it turns out that in reality it is a distortion field. Cities like Johannesburg, Cairo, Nairobi, Durban, Abidjan, Doula and Accra are much louder on twitter than our dear Lagos crowd.

Have a look at a section of the infographic.
Lagos twitter

Interestingly too, none of the top trending hashtags were Nigerian-specific. I don’t know Portland Communications, but if the info is accurate, Lagos needs to wake up.

But then again, I keep saying that our raw population in itself is nothing. What really counts is the rate of education and financial capacity of that population. Those two factors determine to a large extent what percentage of our population can be consistently active online. A quote from my recent article, Reality Check: Nigeria’s Startups Craze:

There is also the question of purchasing power. It is all fine and dandy to quote raw figures, but those figures are mostly meaningless when set against reality. For example: Nigeria has 56 million mobile internet subscribers. So? Doesn’t that mean a great opportunity for startups focused on mobile app development and e-commerce? You kid. The real question that no-one seems to be asking is this: what percentage of that figure earn enough to make those startups viable? And also: What percentage of those subscribers are educated or enlightened enough to use those apps or services?

To download the full thing, do head over to Christian’s Google Plus page.


  1. Many obvious reasons for this. I’ve heard it’s just 33% of Nigerians have access to internet. Definitely, a lesser amount access it via mobile; an even lesser amount are active twitter users. Then again, I suspect a large part of Lagos twitter people fail to use geo-located tweets; I stand in that geometric.

  2. News is only as credible as the source of the news So I would just shrug at this piece of (possibly non_) news.

    Reminds me of the report that says Nigerians are one of the happiest people on earth.Whoever said that obviously went to the corridors of power to take his survey. He would be right since there are Nigerians there. And he probably had not choke to Lagos bus stops under the scorching sun to observe the countenance of stranded commuters..

    Smartphone adoption and addiction rates are looking up, so online activities are likely looking North too..

  3. i agree with you on geolocation, simply put Lagos has a population equal to or slightly lower than the population of Ghana, unless all the twitter users in Ghana congregate in Accra to send their tweets this infographic is inaccurate. same for Abidjan and Duoala, the demographics are sketchy at best and ridiculous

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