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No surprise that Facebook is most popular site in at least 15 African countries

June 13, 2012  »  Statistics & WebNo Comment

A recent post on VC4Africa about the world’s top visited websites according to Alexa immediately brought back memories of when we posted on the subject in October 2009. At that time, we looked at how popular Facebook, YouTube, and Blogger were in the 16 African nations with adequate Alexa web traffic data. Nearly three years later, data is not available for any additional nations, but we can still compare how Facebook has grown in relative popularity versus other websites. In general, Facebook was the second, third, or fourth most popular website in most African nations back in 2009. Now, Facebook is hands down the most visited website on the continent.

  • Facebook has a strong presence in Africa. For what it’s worth, Facebook is the top site in Africa.
  • In Algeria, Facebook’s popularity rank has gone from #6 to #1. A similar move occurred in Tunisia (#5 to #1).
  • Mauritius and Tunisia were the only African nations in October 2009 to have Facebook as the most popular site. Internet penetration rates in these markets were among the highest in Africa and Google did not have the presence in Africa to compete with Facebook for web traffic.
  • Kenya and South Africa pose another interesting situation. These two nations have advanced telecoms industries and decent Internet access rates (somewhere from 10-25%). Still, Facebook is not the most popular website, according to Alexa. Instead, Google comes in at the top, perhaps since the company has offices in these countries that has allowed for extensive local interaction. South Africa and Kenya both have burgeoning developer communities that further promote Google services.
  • The graphic has Yahoo! as the most popular website in Cameroon, but we can’t find data to confirm. The Google Insights for Search tool shows more searches for Facebook than Yahoo or Google.
Country2012 Facebook Rank2009 Facebook Rank
Algeria16
Cameroon2?4
Cote d'Ivoire14
Egypt12
Ghana12
Kenya23
Libya15
Madagascar12
Mauritius11
Morocco12
Nigeria12
Reunion12
Senegal13
South Africa22
Sudan14
Tunisia11
World map of dominating websites

World map of dominating websites. Blue = Facebook, Gray = Google, Orange = N/A {Webempires}

The similar World Map of Social Networks (just updated this month) reflects how Facebook has been the most popular social network in Africa since at least late-2009.