Monday, 2 July 2012

Lagos and Africa Twitter Leap Frog

Lagos twitter activity map, showing Wikpedia

Tweets in Lagos: Lagos Nigeria shows an interesting pattern of social media use, one that we believe will be common in much of the developing world.  There are few Wikipedia articles tagged with Lagos as a location, few people post Flickr photos from their and there are few Fourquare venues, but there is an intense amount of geo-tagged tweeting.  Lagos does not see a lot of tweeting compared to other major cities (see our tweeter-meter) but the tweets it sees are much more likely to have a geo-tag than many other places.

We conclude that this is because in Lagos the primary tool tweets must be the mobile phone.  We anticipate that Nigeria, like many other nations, is leap frogging the PC stage and going directly to Web 3.0 based on mobile devices.

The above meter shows that despite a lot of geo-tagged tweeting as part of overall tweeting in Lagos, overall tweeting remains very low.

BBC has an interesting article on how this leap frogging with mobile is allowing Africa to jump over the need to buy computers and install broadband.  But as the Web 3.0 Lab is constantly pointing out, one must separate mobile web traffic by intensity, type, and impact.  Too often these are confused.  In fact impact may be happening in a mobile technology that seems to be declining.  For example in the Spring of 2011 everyone was talking about iPhones, Android and Twitter, but the London Riots show the influence BBM on Blackberry was having on creating self organizing 'tribes' of youth.  BBM was the technology young people used to organize while Twitter became little more than a rumor mill for panic struck Londoners.

In Lagos we see low twitter usage, but what twitter usage there is is highly mobile and highly geo-tagged.  We would say Lagos is skipping Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 and jumping to Web 3.0 directly.  And we suspect the impact will be massive.

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