Nigeria is one of Facebook’s most important markets, and the platform remains a popular choice for the growing number of internet users in Nigeria. It has been established that 16 million Nigerians visit Facebook every month. Approximately 7.2 million Nigerian users visit Facebook daily. Most Nigerians access the platform using their mobile phones. It is estimated that Nigerian smartphone subscriptions will reach 95 million by 2019.

 

This shows huge potential for businesses, especially those that want to get a piece of Africa’s largest economy and population. These numbers are strong on their own, but when you consider that the rates of internet penetration in Africa are still low, the prospects are limitless. Facebook has already made moves to capture untapped users by pushing its Internet.org initiative on the continent.

 

Through Internet.org, Facebook aims to provide free, but limited, internet to people in developing countries living without internet access. Through certain mobile carriers, users can access a number of websites without using their data. The project has launched in Kenya and Tanzania, however India’s recent ban of the service could send a signal to other developing economies. Facebook’s basic app has critics who warn that it creates a two tiered online experience, drawing a line between the privileged rich and the marginalized poor.

 

In spite of Facebook’s Nigerian success, it is important to consider that users in emerging economies consume digital media in a different way compared to developed economies. It has been suggested that platforms such as 2go and Eskimi matter more than Facebook in the Nigerian market. Facebook is aware of these challenges and also the opportunities that Nigeria presents. The company is already looking to forge business ties with Nigerian small and medium enterprises, as well as providing mobile advertising.

 

In the past, Facebook has partnered with Nigerian startup Jumia to empower entrepreneurs. This month, the Head of Africa for Facebook Nunu Ntshingila visited Ghana and Nigeria to discuss with local small and medium enterprises on maximizing profits through the platform. Facebook is posited as the best resource for Nigerian SMEs. It remains to be seen what further impacts Facebook will have on the Nigerian mart.

 

What are your opinions on the growing Nigerian users of Facebook? Leave a comment below or reach me on Twitter @rafeeeeta