Twitter study shows Africa is football mad

Mar 12, 2014
Nigeria fans pose at the 2013 African Cup of Nations final football match against Burkina Faso, on February 10, 2013 in Johannesburg

Posts about football topped Africans' tweets last year, trumping even world events like the death of Nelson Mandela, results from a study released on Wednesday showed.

Most were about football and in English, communications firm Portland's analysis of over nine million posts from October to December last year showed.

Johannesburg is the microblogging site's busiest hub on the continent with 344,215 tweets, while Soweto-based Orlando Pirates was also the most mentioned soccer club on the continent.

Neighbouring Ekurhuleni recorded 264,172 posts in the same period, and Cairo 227,509.

Tweets spiked after global peace icon Mandela's death on December 5, but still did not overtake football.

Over 60 percent of the posts were in English, while Arabic came a distant second at 11.5 percent.

Only five percent of tweets were in French, with the most active city in that language, Ivory Coast's Abidjan, recording only 56,054 posts.

A quarter of tweets were in other African languages, often South African: Zulu, Swahili, Afrikaans, Xhosa, Portuguese, Sotho and Tswana.

Information technology is growing fast in Africa, though social media activity on the continent is still relatively low.

Explore further: Entrepreneur, activist Sina Khanifar on digital copyright reform

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Twitter study reveals explosion in Arabic 'tweeting'

Nov 24, 2011

The popularity of Twitter has soared in the Arab world over the past year, a study published Thursday revealed, reflecting the key role of the social networking site in the "Arab Spring" revolutions.

Research: South Africans most active tweeters

Jan 26, 2012

Young people tweeting from BlackBerrys and iPhones are driving the growth of Twitter in Africa, with South Africans by far the most vociferous, according to new research published Thursday.

Twitter clocks half-billion users: monitor

Jul 30, 2012

Over 500 million people are on micro-blogging site Twitter and Americans and Brazilians are the most connected, according to a study by social media monitor Semiocast released Monday.

Recommended for you

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

pandora4real
not rated yet Mar 12, 2014
Large African cities suffer from endemic violence. As ever when the environmental carrying capacity is exceeded by human population density, anti-social behavior and tribalism flourish. Those are the core attributes and appeal of football. If you want a case study, look into the specifics of what was going on there during the World Cup. Even at the governing level we saw many, many behaviors resurrected that had not been seen since apartheid. If football is the beautiful game, then the London riots were positively gorgeous. All of which just happened to start within sight of a EPL ground. Coincidence, I'm sure... And I suppose the EDL isn't leveraging a popular acronym- which EDL chapters produce flags exactly like those bloody tribal banners waved by the mindless at footy matches.

It's time society got real about what football brings. None of it is good.