Social Media Trend Report 2014/15

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The rise of social media, social business and digital government in Kenya.

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Nendo Report 2014-Final2-small

2014/15Social MediaTrend ReporT

By Nendo in partnership with Odipo Dev

AUTHORS

MARK KAIGWAOdanga Madung & Samer Costello

nendo.co.ke

is a Nairobi-based boutique

consultancy focused on Strategy and Storytelling

for Digital Africa. We are experts at social &

media, practice design thinking and study the

connected African consumer. We uncover trends,

craft strategies and deploy projects with Pan

African purpose and ambition. The company is

founded and led by Mark Kaigwa, selected among

Forbes 30 under 30 Best Young Entrepreneurs in

Africa (2013).

Its 2014, and the years of this new decade have been very signicant for Kenya.

With the implementation of high-speed bre-optic cables increasing access and

decreasing costs of connectivity, our country is rapidly changing - and its all thanks to the Internet.

2014 will be a momentous year for the country. A presidency that is coming into

its own, a nation that is ready to see the new constitution brought into action, and a world that is looking to the country and the continent with fresh eyes.

The milestones of the previous year heralded a new age of digital awareness for the country. With the backdrop of the 2007/2008 post-election violence looming

over the citizens, the country and the continent, the challenges of holding an election became distinct realities for all to face. International media ocked and

hovered around Kenya predicting the worst. Social media in Kenya had other plans,

chief among them to act as the countrys digital watchdog for anything that foreign journalists would - or wouldnt - report. The outcome was unprecedented, with

Kenyans online creating a counter-narrative of satirical responses to international

reporters who they accused of inaccurate reporting, biased bulletins and falsied

featurettes. With most journalists pushing for peace while on air, the sentiment of

the online narrative was largely positive on Twitter:

#kenyakwanza - 90%#choice2013 - 69%#decision2013 - 76%

The Umati Report by the iHub noted that only 3% of total hate speech comments collected during the project were on Twitter with 90% of them on social network Facebook. An example of the contrasting opinions and perspectives of Kenyans

online expressed in our 2013 general election.

2014 requires us to take the last 4 years into account to project to the future. Each

one of these trends takes the context and momentum of the past and either refutes

the logical outcome of it or builds upon it.

2014 Trends &Predictions iN

Social Mediafor KenyaINTRODUCTION

nendo.co.ke

MEDIA EVOLUTION, NOT REVOLUTION

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THE RISE OF SOCIAL TVIn Kenya, television - like the radio before it - is a social activity. Whether it is

debating politics with those next to you, or taking in commentary, the conversation is

becoming more interactive by the day. Texting, tweeting and calling friends are now

the stand-out ways that people participate in watching television.

Kenya has seen 2013 out with some highlights in social media driven television or

social TV. Whether or not local television shows were designed with the backchannel

in mind, Kenyan reality dating show Tujuane stands out as having one of the most

loyal and viral followings of any television series. This is not to say the traditional

ratings for television media are in any way inaccurate, but in terms of Twitter engagement the show has brought a level of consistency and high velocity of updates and engagement that stands out.

MEDIA EVOLUTION NOT REVOLUTION

2014 Trends &Predictions iN

Social Mediafor KenyaMEDIA EVOLUTION NOT REVOLUTION

2014 Trends &Predictions iN

Social Mediafor Kenya

The Age of the Second Screen is upon us in Kenya. We will no longer watch

television without a second screen- a phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop - nearby. It

will become a part of the experience. Kenyans already frequently congregate around

television programs - news, sports or entertainment but now they will also do so on social networks such as Twitter.

Tujuane stands out as an example of this. The dating television show that puts

young singles together, sending them on a variety of dates and social interactions generates approximately 9,256 tweets per episode, and in 2013 cumulatively

inspired over half a million tweets. That is without monitoring Facebook and the rest

of the web including blogs for other online mentions. The shows popularity among

the valuable and digitally savvy Generation Y has seen it shift television stations from KTN to NTV in what is surely the stations bid for a young, connected and in this

case, captive audience.

We describe this as the Tujuane Syndrome. What started out as Kenyans On

Twitter (or #KOT) discussing the show turned into a weekly ritual that eventually

caught the attention of the television station and the producers. Having the video

online further brought the Diaspora, and others who could not catch the broadcast, into the picture and gave longevity to the content.

We are yet to see if Tujuane will fully embrace social media and the web as much as social media has embraced the show in its next season, but we can expect other

television shows to do so.

Looking at the various categories of potential social television shows for 2014, we see a possible breakdown as follows:

Contestant-based Shows E.g. 2013s season of Tusker Project Fame, An East African reality-singing

competition show, generated 43,736 tweets and made use of social media after

#KOT continued the annual trend of discussing it online.

Reality TV showsE.g. Dating show #Tujuane single-handedly featured in over 500,000 tweets in 2013.

To put that in context, this was more than the #KOT hashtag but less than

#Westgate which took place during and after the Westgate Mall attack at the popular Nairobi mall.

Fiction Television ShowsThese are yet to be explored locally but the model has been done by Western shows

before as seen by AMCs Breaking Bad, ABCs Scandal in The United States and

BBCs Sherlock in the United Kingdom.

Music Video Television ShowsAimed at a teen audience, music video shows on television now fully incorporate

Twitter in their elaborate user-request driven shows. Collecting and approving

content coming in from social media has lessened that of SMS revenue. It has seen

recording artistes take to Twitter to launch and seed music to their fans. Kenyan

rapper, Rabbit had his hit song Ligi Soo trend through the month of December as

a key example.

The NewsThe 9 oclock news generates some of Kenyan televisions highest ratings. The

opportunity for social television is best seen in investigative pieces by journalists who build up anticipation through social networks such as Twitter. We can expect that

2014 and 2015 will see WhatsApp and rich participatory media such as images,

text, audio and user-submitted video to become the staple throughout for the news.

TOMORROWS NEWSROOMOver the past few years, Kenyan media houses have slowly but surely begun to embrace social and digital media. The elections and the lull that followed as the

country awaited a result meant that every single newsroom in the country inevitably embraced citizen-driven engagement and content.

Big ships take long to turn as the adage goes; this too has been no small feat.

In 2014, we can expect to see several television shows launch targeted exclusively

at this digitally savvy audience. Traditionally, prime-time news programming has seen

polling and surveys take place based off of the days news. This has since expanded

to include a Twitter hashtag and responses from social media.

For the diaspora, the use of YouTube for select news clips and most recently the streaming of news bulletins live is what is next. No channel has attempted to create

a web-only version of the news packaged for the 3 million Kenyans in the Diaspora,

despite their connectivity and participation.

Typically with the poll or daily survey question, the television station received hundreds to thousands of SMS responses. These SMSs are charged at a premium

rate to viewers. The SMSs also act as a feedback mechanism for the television

stations during regular programming. Over the years the television stations have

resorted to asking viewers to include their names and locations to create a database and market research from this. The question over a dip in revenue from more

aggressive use of social media looms.

The rise of the mobile instant-messaging app WhatsApp as a means of getting

content-rich media from the audience has also began to scale. WhatsApps similarity

to SMS means that its barrier to entry is down to a smartphone or feature phone. In

terms of functional literacy there is greater ease of adoption than a social network such as Twitter or Facebook. In addition it is mobile only and in many cases

coming pre-installed on WhatsApp is mobile only even coming pre-installed on

certain devices such as on Nokias Asha 501 from late 2013.

According to On Device Research, WhatsApp has become the leading social

messaging app, overtaking Facebook Messenger globally. We can expect

newsrooms to continually ask their audiences for content including text and richer

media such as images, audio and video.

We also anxiously await the Swahili news broadcasts to embrace social media as

their counterparts in the English 9 oclock broadcasts have. As we see Kenyan

media houses broadcasting into the East African region, there is no greater common

language to engage with viewers than Swahili.

TOMORROWSJOURNALISTJournalists will become the custodians of social media in the newsroom in 2014.

As the faces of the broadcasts and the individuals Kenyans online choose to interact

with they have experienced growth in prominence and stature on the internet.

Journalists, television anchors and guests of popular shows repeatedly share updates, stories and create expectation with the audience so as to drive

engagement to their personal proles.

This interaction has seen the phrases Follow us/me on Twitter and Tweet us

using the hashtag often included in daily news scripts. This has revved their

respective followers up as well as raised the collective digital and social consciousness of the news viewers.

The journalists now are being tipped on stories, leads and potential follow up and feedback through social media. With popular breakfast host Caroline Mutoko joining

in January 2014, we see that even those that may have resisted the allure of social media in the beginning are inevitably joining the fray.

For television, there is likely to be a show launched (or several shows launched) in

2014 similar to Al Jazeeras The Stream. This program adorns a news cycle that has

priority given to user-recommended content and using the web to nd and highlight

stories, guests and programming ideas. Kenya will soon see a news program that

is social by design.

Journalists can be expected to lead this effort but not without some clearer

positioning by the media houses themselves. The policy behind journalists, the

comments they share and the followers they inevitably gain by getting time on camera may be spelled out in a social media policy by a media house.

Getting away with my tweets, my views or retweet is not endorsement

statements in biographies wont cut it any more.

The media in 2014 found a new voice with journalists taking it upon themselves to leverage and grow their digital inuence. When publishing in the newspaper, by-lines

were reduced to Follow me on Twitter. Journalists and newscasters who relied on

audience interaction through traditional SMS now consider Twitter as the staple

mode of interaction. WhatsApp has now emerged and is likely to surpass Twitter

as the year continues.

This hasnt been without a change in the newsroom. The backroom staff and

support system has seen subtle evolution to include email addresses and Twitter handles in most of the daily newspapers.

The 2013 elections and stalemate that followed meant that news crews were forced to work around the clock to keep Kenyans at home and abroad updated. When

results from polling stations took longer than expected, newsrooms lled the void

by airing tweets, updates and commentary from the public. This shift left no media

house unchanged, and is part of the basis of these predictions of the evolution of the media.

In fact, displaying tweets has been known to be a huge way to increase trafc as

seen by these cumulative gures of tweets:

#decision2013 - 38,904 (NTV)#choice2013- 31,049 (KTN)#Kenyakwanza- 12,352 (Citizen)

Journalists and media houses aside, the rise of social television in the country is

now a reality. The 2013 elections for the rst time provided the country with local

trends from microblogging social network Twitter. This allowed average Kenyans to

nally be able to watch, and jump into local trending topics.

With a clear way to follow popular discussion topics at a city or country level, a strong following for popular traditional media shows emerged. This backchannel

was where people coalesced around their television sets and - for a subset of them - red up their phones, tablets and PCs to tune in.

In Media Evolution, not Revolution we explore what change looks like for the

journalist, the media house and the audience.

nendo.co.ke

THE RISE OF SOCIAL TVIn Kenya, television - like the radio before it - is a social activity. Whether it is

debating politics with those next to you, or taking in commentary, the conversation is

becoming more interactive by the day. Texting, tweeting and calling friends are now

the stand-out ways that people participate in watching television.

Kenya has seen 2013 out with some highlights in social media driven television or

social TV. Whether or not local television shows were designed with the backchannel

in mind, Kenyan reality dating show Tujuane stands out as having one of the most

loyal and viral followings of any television series. This is not to say the traditional

ratings for television media are in any way inaccurate, but in terms of Twitter engagement the show has brought a level of consistency and high velocity of updates and engagement that stands out.

MEDIA EVOLUTION NOT REVOLUTION

2014 Trends &Predictions iN

Social Mediafor Kenya

The Age of the Second Screen is upon us in Kenya. We will no longer watch

television without a second screen- a...