Digital Statistics And Usage In South Africa 2020

Social media case study

January. My favourite time of year. It’s a fresh start, a clean slate. A time to take stock of where we are and where things are going. Resolutions, goals, reflection, personal bests.

This time we received our Digital Statistics for 2020 through the collaborative effort between Hootsuite and We Are Social in February. The 9th annual release makes good reading and the data makes interesting reading. The pack details a full range of digital statistics for 2020 and behaviours by country including the behaviours and growth rates across key digital networks, devices and mediums.

Where are we at the start of 2020?

The global report indicates that internet usage has grown to over 4.5 Billion users. That means that 59% of the world’s population is now using and communicating through the internet. 49% of the world’s population is now active on Social Media, a 9.2% increase year on year.

Ecommerce activities are also showing strong growth globally, with 80% of internet users between the ages of 16 and 64 searching online for a product or service to buy off any device. Back home in South Africa, the numbers are staggering. Out of our population of just under 59 million, just over 36 million people are currently using the internet. What’s curious is the number of mobile phone connections: 103 Million – 1.76 per person. This probably speaks to the number of devices, second cellphone numbers and the relatively high cost of data. Social media users show a relatively low penetration of 37% when compared to the rest of the world, yet with 20% year-on-year growth shows massive potential. The average internet user between the age of 16 and 64 spends just over 3 hours using social media, almost the same amount as was spent on watching TV!

South Africa’s 5 most popular social media networks are Whatsapp, YouTube, Facebook, Facebook Messenger and Instagram. YouTube has overtaken Facebook in terms of usage due to cheaper data costs and greater accessibility to data.  

Some other valuable insights include our relatively low online search to purchase % when compared with the rest of the world +-50%, as well as the most frequented websites and searches in the report. 



Digital 2020 South Africa (January 2020)