Alicante, Spain - September 15, 2016: Cubes with logotypes of social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Android, Skype placed in the sand against the sea.
Alicante, Spain - September 15, 2016: Cubes with logotypes of social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Android, Skype placed in the sand against the sea. (Photo Credit: www.shutterstock.com)

Search giant Google South Africa has revealed the findings of the 2017 Connected Consumer Study, conducted by research group Kantar TNS.

In South Africa, people from all nine of South Africa’s provinces were interviewed, face to face, 60% in urban and 40% in rural areas

The study concluded that 65% of South Africans are now online, up from 63% in 2016. South Africa is slightly ahead of the pack, when you compare with Nigeria, where internet usage is at 63% and in Kenya, at 53%.

Internet usage
Internet usage

However, the study finds that visiting social networks is the number one activity that South Africans say they do online.

“This is closely followed by using search engines and the third most frequent activity is watching online videos. Online is increasingly being used during purchase planning, as shown by the fourth activity – looking for product information,” Google revealed on Monday.

The study also revealed that South Africa onliners are younger than the global average, with 60% of them aged below 35 years.

Twenty-five million South Africans (16+ years old) access the internet locally for private purposes. The biggest demographic making up a third of the online population is aged between 25-34. The 35-44 age group has a 17% share, 20-24 at 15%, the 55+ at 15% and 16 -19 tie at 12%. The smallest group is 45-54 at 10%.

When compared with the global online distribution, Google said South Africa onliners are younger, with 60% of them aged below 35 years, versus globally where only 34% are below 35.

How do they go online?

Internet consumption is a mobile affair in South Africa, with 69% of polled consumers saying they more often access the internet on a mobile device, which is more than double the global rate of 30%.

Online Shopping is growing in popularity

online shopping
online shopping
  • Online shopping has become a huge opportunity and is a driver for internet usage.
  • 2.5m South Africans shop online. This is only set to continue to grow.

The study concluded that Internet usage is still growing and underlying developments such as a higher daily reach are stemming from increasingly mobile-centric internet access.

“The advanced ecosystem of connected devices is visible through the average number of those devices used per person. Connected devices affect how the Internet is used – mobile centricity affects almost all types of digital activity and shows that digital user satisfaction depends on a good mobile design.”

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