Last week, Juliani, Kenyan gospel hip hop artiste, posted a video from his visit to the Facebook office in Manhattan, New York City.
A member of the Facebook team then proceeds to show Juliani the number of monthly daily active users in his home country, as well as South Africa, and Nigeria.
It reveals that there are 9.9 million monthly active Facebook users in Kenya, with 4.7 million of them using the social media platform daily. While South Africa has 28 million monthly active users, 16 million are daily active users.
Nigeria is still Facebook’s biggest market in Africa with 33 million active monthly users and 16 million active daily users.
This means that between May 2018 — when Facebook was said to have 26 million active users in Nigeria — and now, about 7 million Nigerians have joined the platform and use it actively.
These numbers seem plausible considering that the number of Internet users in Nigeria grew from about 103 million in May 2018 to 122 million in May 2019, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
However, NCC’s numbers, judging from MTN’s recent data (pdf), appear questionable. Facebook’s user numbers have also raised eyebrows because it counted people who didn’t access the platform itself but shared content or activity via third-party apps or login-integrated websites.
This changed in 2015 when Facebook reviewed the definition of its monthly active users as “a registered Facebook user who logged in and visited Facebook through our website or a mobile device, or used our Messenger app (and is also a registered Facebook user), in the last 30 days as of the date of the measurement.”
The number of daily active users is calculated the same way but on a given day. Whether or not we choose to believe NCC and Facebook’s numbers, the truth remains that more Nigerians now have access to the Internet and for many of them, the Internet is Facebook.