Twitter and radio intersect: Protestors in London demand the release of leading member of the Biafran independence struggle and director of the London based Radio Biafra, who was detained in Nigeria on 18 October 2015. (Photo/ Flickr/ Alisdare Hickman)

Africa On Twitter: Top Trends In Nigeria, Jan – Jun 2016, Where Radio Rules

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TWITTER is a growing force on the continent, driving conversations, activism and even a shared pan-African outlook, particularly among younger and better-educated users. Africa’s mobile data traffic is forecast to see a twenty-fold increase from 2013 to 2019, around twice the global growth rate.

In collaboration with data analytics firm Odipo Dev, we mined all the trends that have trended in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and one of Africa’s most active on Twitter, over the first six months of 2016, to better gain an insight into the country’s digital atmosphere.


Almost all of Nigeria’s top trends (nine out of the top ten) were related to radio shows. Radio commentary lends itself well to the social banter and chatter that characterises Twitter; both have free flowing conversational models that overlap easily.

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Radio is the dominant news platform in Nigeria, with a 2015 survey showing that 77.4% of respondents and more than seven in 10 across all major demographic groups saying they listen to the radio for news at least weekly.

The only top trend that doesn’t conform to the radio trend is #BookWorm, which, as far as we could tell, seemed to be a form of an online trivia contest hosted by one @EngineChux, and asks sometimes humorous questions, such as “What model of Peugeot would a dog drive?” to which the answer seems to be a 404.

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