Not only is Nigeria the most populous country in Africa, but it also accounts for the highest level of internet penetration on the continent. Although there are varying records of the exact figures, as of February 2016, the Nigerian Communications Commission reported 93.75 million internet users in Nigeria. The Nigerian Telecommunications (Services) Sector Report released at the end of Q1 (June 2016) records the number of active internet subscriptions at 92.4 million.
Little wonder Nigeria’s burgeoning internet technology space has attracted the attention of international tech leaders, including Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg who visited the country in August this year. Much of this growth can be attributed to the influx of mobile web and smartphone users even in the less developed areas.
It would be insightful to have a glimpse of the highest drivers of internet traffic in Nigeria. That is, what people are searching for, what are they talking about, and what websites are serving their information needs. This would also guide online marketers in knowing which of these leading categories can help achieve their marketing goals.
I came up with a list of these sectors using web tools like Alexa and Google Trends. Although the websites in this list have been split into different categories, it is important to note that the rankings vary from time to time.
Search Engines, Social Networks, and Content Sharing Sites
It is not a surprise that the highest driver of internet traffic in Nigeria is the popular search engine — Google. As at the time this article was put together, Google.com stands at number 1, followed by YouTube, Facebook, Yahoo, and Twitter. Other sites like LinkedIn, Eskimi, Blogger, Wikipedia, and Ask.com also amass a high number of internet visitors on a daily basis.
One can infer from these trends that many Nigerians are active on social networks, especially with their mobile phones, and are searching for different kinds of information on the internet. Recent research by Google demonstrates how people turn to their phones in moments of need such as: “I-Want to Do”, “I-Want-to-Buy”, “I-Want-to-Know” and “I-Want-to-Go” moments.
Forums and News Sites
Popular Nigerian online forum Nairaland, tops the list in this category. With about 1,663,032 registered members (as at the time of this publication), Nairaland is the biggest forum in Africa influencing and setting agenda for conversations. Other sites in this category include Linda Ikeji’s Blog, Naij, Punchng, Vanguard, BBC, CNN, Daily Post, Quora, Information Nigeria, Nation Newspaper, Guardian, and Sahara Reporters.
Online Shopping/ E-commerce
The internet is the new marketplace, as people now shop from their laptops and mobile devices. Nigeria is no exception in this offline-online shift; e-commerce stores and online marketplaces like Aliexpress, Amazon as well as the emerging local equivalents like Jumia, Konga, and Jiji, pull in millions of visitors from Nigerians who are either buying, selling or acting as middlemen.
Banking & Financial Solutions
As at the time of this publication, sites like Guarantee Trust Bank, Interswitch, Quickteller, Interswitch and PayPal command a huge number of internet visitors who are making online transactions, purchases, and transfers. This cannot be dissociated from the fact that the e-commerce industry in Africa has one of the fastest growing rates in the world.
Sports and Betting Sites
Bet9ja, Goal.com, Nairabet, Livescore, Soccer24, Skysports, Merrybet are some of the websites leading this category. With the current economic situation, Nigerian sports fans and enthusiasts are leveraging on the odds of sports betting to get rewarded for their passion.
What nobody would tell you is that adult entertainment is one of the leading categories driving website traffic in Nigeria. Sites like xvideos and Pornhub fall under this category.
Entertainment, Music, Movies
It is no new fact that Nigerians are lovers of entertainment particularly movies and music. The Nigerian entertainment industry is predicted to grow a revenue of US$8.1 billion in 2019. The Internet is expected to be the key driver of growth for Nigeria media and entertainment, in addition to revenue from TV advertising and subscriptions. Websites like Pulseng, NaijaLoaded, Tooexclusive.com, NotJustOk.com, OmgVoice are the daily stops of millions of Nigerians who prefer entertaining content.
Normally, when you want to watch movies or listen to music, you either stream it through the internet or download it for your leisure. Many Nigerians prefer the later especially where they find such content for FREE. Sites like Piratebay, Extratorrent, 02tvseries, are the internet favourites for music and movie downloads.
Unemployment in Nigeria has been on the rise in recent times; according to the National Bureau of Statistics Nigeria’s unemployment rate has risen from 12.1 per cent in the first quarter of this year to 13.3 per cent as at the end of the second quarter.
These numerous unemployed graduates no longer carry their CVs in files moving from one office to another in search of employment. The search has shifted to their mobile phones, laptops and even nearby cyber cafes. Online platforms like Jobberman, Hot Nigerian Jobs, Jobmag and Ngcareers, are bridging the information gap, and making it easier and faster for people to access job openings and other career resources.
To be on any of the aforementioned sites, you need an active internet subscription. This list would not be complete without top internet providers like Spectranet, Swiftng who make it possible for people to perform different activities across the web.