2013 has been seen Zimbabwe explode with breakthrough after breakthrough in technology. A lot has happened with new innovations taking root, changing our lives in the process. As we draw closer to curtains down for 2013, this will is the first in a series of review of headlining tech issues that took place in 2013 starting with social media.
2013 has been a great year for social media users and enthusiasts alike. 2013 was the most entertaining, engaging and valuable year in social media in Zimbabwe. Electioneering, classified expose, commerce, and the usual attention seeking were all part of the social media mix that made social media in Zimbabwe memorable in 2013.
Keeking up with the Jukwas
The Jukwas are by far the biggest social media export to date. Before their fall from grace, the “estranged couple”, especially Baba Jukwa, kept Zimbabwe locked with stunning revelations I dare not mention here. The ZANU PF mole leaked everything from alleged corruption, election fraud, the president’s phone number went as low as revealing the HIV status of political enemies. Baba Jukwa built a reputation so much that local media ran on his every revelation and in retrospect, it was probably silly to use a Baba Jukwa’s Facebook poll as a prediction of the real election. MDCs Facebook election victory was reversed on the ground blowing Baba Jukwa from the highs of a global sensation back to earth competing with the likes of Masasi epaFacebook for attention.
Baba Jukwa is still elusive but no longer has the hard hitting pre-election election revelations that brought him 400,000 likes and put him on them most wanted list with a reported $300,000 bounty on his head.
Twitter becomes mainstream in Zimbabwe
Although no official or reliable stats are available on Twitter use in Zimbabwe, Twitter has undoubtedly migrated from being Zimbabwe’s un-favourite social network to stealing our attention from Facebook. Obviously Twitter is not as big as Facebook in Zimbabwe but it has definitely overtaken Linkedin which has over 200,000 in Zimbabwean.
Before, Twitter was to a greater extent elitist with very few of the ordinary folk on the platform, but now the platform is now mainstream and everyone knows what hashtags and handles are.
With Twitter it’s never about the numbers but rather the quality of engagement. Thanks to award winning crowd sourcing platforms like @263chat, Zimbabwean engagement on Twitter is predominately progressive compared to the content found on Facebook.
The great leap for Twitter could have been aided by falling prices in entry level mobile devices.