New report reveals digital use in Kenya during 2018

Kenya Digital Overview 2019
Kenya Digital Overview 2019

We Are Social and Hootsuite have released their Digital Report for 2019 which assesses online access and use across the world. 

The report shows that internet users are growing by an average of more than one billion new users every day.

African nations dominate the list of countries with the fastest growing internet communities, although many of these countries start from relatively small bases. Western Sahara saw the greatest year-on-year relative gains, with the reported number of internet users in the country increasing by almost five times since January 2018.


From Kenya’s current population of 51.58 million, the report shows 91 per cent (46.94 million) have a mobile subscription, up 15% (6 million) over the last 12 months. However, despite this growth, there was no change in the number of internet users at 84 per cent (43.33 million). There are 8.2 million active social media users in the country with 7.7 million accessing them using mobile devices. This is an increase of five thousand (6.5 per cent) and seven thousand (10 per cent) respectively.

The average Kenyan internet user has 6.8 social media accounts (including instant messengers) and spends 2 hours 47 minutes using the networks.

The most active social media platform was WhatsApp at 80 per cent, closely followed by parent company Facebook at 80 per cent. YouTube, Instagram and Facebook Messenger followed with 61 per cent, 48 per cent and 41 per cent respectively. Twitter is used by 33 per cent of the internet users in Kenya with the numbers dropping significantly for LinkedIn (16%), Skype and Snapchat (15%) and Pinterest (13%). Viber and Tumblr are used by 5 per cent of internet users with Badoo, WeChat, Reddit and Line being used by 3 per cent.

Facebook reports that 7.9 million Kenyans can be reached with adverts on their platform, but this drops to 2.1 million on LinkedIn, 1.9 million for Instagram and 641k on Twitter. Although Snapchat’s advertising reach was just 307,500 on Snapchat this was a quarter on quarter growth of 32 per cent.

43 per cent of mobile phone users have a smart device, while 21 per cent use a laptop or desktop device and 7 per cent of the population being tablet users.

The percentage of mobile connections in Kenya that are pre-paid stands at 97 per cent.

While 76 per cent watch content on a television, only 3 per cent use a device for streaming internet content to TV. 2 per cent use wearable tech and only 1 per cent own an e-reader device.

72 per cent of Kenyans use the internet daily, with 15 per cent accessing it weekly, 7 per cent monthly and 6 per cent less than once a month.

While the average speed of mobile internet connections rose by 2.8 per cent to 15.53mbps, the average speed of fixed internet connections fell by 6.3 per cent to 14.42mbps.

In finance, 82 per cent of Kenyan have an account with a financial institution and 73 per cent have a mobile money account. 5.7 per cent have a credit card, but the percentage of men with a credit card (81%) is more than double that of women (3.5%).

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