Social media has become the media in Africa

Five years ago, when Social Media Week launched in Lagos, it was the first event of its kind in Africa on that scale. At the time, social media seemed mostly a fun and useful marketing communications platform.

Looking back, that was only partly right. Social media is undoubtedly a lot of fun and many a brand, including personal brands, have established themselves with social media.

But five years ago, it would have difficult to anticipate the importance of social media in Africa as a key communications tool with tools like WhatsApp, Viber and more recently WeChat. For some Africans, the newsgroups within WhatsApp alone have become a primary source of news and entertainment.

Read more: WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are having an outsize influence in Africa’s media landscape — Quartz