By Phesheya Mkhonta
Eswatini is home to 336 000 social media users as of January 2023, equating to 27.9 percent of the total population.
A total of 314 000 of these social media users are found on Facebook.
Social media users are largely utilizing social media with a median fixed internet connection speed of 5.16 Mbps.
This is according to figures recently released by DataReportal, an international online library that tracks internet data, insights, and trends across the world.
The report notes that data from GSMA Intelligence shows that there were 1.28 million cellular mobile connections in Eswatini at the start of 2023. However, it’s important to clarify that a number of people make use of more than one mobile connection or phone – for example, they might have one connection for personal use, another one for work, and a separate one for WhatsApp.
Users may also have another number that is currently inactive but still registered on the network – so it’s not unusual for mobile connection figures to significantly exceed figures of the total population.
DataReportal states that according to data published by Meta, the owners of Facebook and Instagram, Facebook had 313.9 thousand users in Eswatini in early 2023.
The social media conglomerate’s figures further indicate that Facebook’s potential advertising reach in Eswatini decreased by 56 thousand (-15.1 percent) between 2022 and 2023.
Advertising reach statistics are critical to advertisers all over the world, and all social media sites track these to attract and retain advertisers, based on a social platform’s audience size, potential reach, and engagement. There are, however, other variants to consider as the report states.
“Estimated audience size is not a proxy for monthly or daily active users, or for engagement. Estimates aren’t designed to match the population, census estimates, or other sources, and may differ depending on factors such as how many accounts across Meta technologies a person has, how many temporary visitors are in a particular geographic location at a given time, and Meta user-reported demographics.”
Meta’s advertising resources indicate that advertising on Facebook Messenger reached 35.6 thousand users in the Kingdom in early 2023.
Interestingly, on a quarterly basis, the company’s data reveal that the size of Facebook Messenger’s audience in Eswatini decreased by 1,950 (-5.2 percent) between October 2022 and January 2023.
Instagram on the other hand, had 53 300 users in Eswatini in early 2023. Meta’s recently revised figures suggest that Instagram’s reach in the country was equivalent to 4.4 percent of the total population at the start of the year based on recorded Instagram accounts.
However, Instagram restricts the use of its platform to people below the age of 13, so it’s worth highlighting that in fact, 6.3 percent of the “eligible” audience in Eswatini actually uses Instagram.
It’s also worth noting that Instagram’s advertising reach in Eswatini, according to the platform’s metrics, at the start of 2023, was equivalent to 7.5 percent of the local internet user base (regardless of age). In early 2023, 53.9 percent of Instagram’s advertising audience in Eswatini was female, while 46.1 percent was male.
The report further notes that LinkedIn had 89 000 members (registered people) in Eswatini in early 2023.
For advertisers, this is good news as data published in LinkedIn’s planning tools show that LinkedIn’s potential ad reach in Eswatini increased by 12 thousand (+15.6 percent) between 2022 and 2023.
On a quarterly basis, the data reveal that the size of LinkedIn’s ad audience in Eswatini increased by 4,000 (+4.7 percent) between October 2022 and January 2023.
Numbers published in Twitter’s advertising resources indicate that Twitter had 31 500 users in Eswatini in early 2023.
This figure means that Twitter’s advertising reach for companies in the country was equivalent to 2.6 percent of the total population at the time.
However, the report states that it’s important to stress that these advertising reach figures are not the same as monthly active user figures, and there may be meaningful differences between the size of Twitter’s ad audience and its total active user base.
For additional context, Twitter’s ad reach in Eswatini was equivalent to 4.4 percent of the local internet user base (regardless of age) at the start of the year.
In early 2023, Twitter’s own data indicated that 37.4 percent of Twitter’s ad audience in Eswatini was female, while 62.6 percent was male. Data published in Twitter’s own advertising planning tools show that Twitter’s potential advert reach in the country increased by 3,800 (+13.7 percent) between the start of 2022 and early 2023.
Meanwhile, the same data shows that the number of users that marketers could reach with advertising on Twitter in Eswatini increased by 200 (+0.6 percent) between October 2022 and January 2023.
NB. Please note that this report only focused on the four social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. As a result, numbers may vary.