#SocialMediaBlackout has been a trending topic on Twitter for the past two days (20 to 21 June 2017) after MTN introduced a cap to its previously unlimited free Twitter usage.
According to Eye Witness News, the hashtag was started by activist Ntsiki Mazwai who encouraged the public to not use social media or purchase mobile data on Wednesday, 21 June 2017 in an effort to convince mobile operators to reduce data tariffs.
Since 99% of #SocialMediaBlackout posts originated from Twitter I thought I’d analyse usage on the platform to better understand if the fight against data was successful. Here are the findings.
Twitter Activity in South Africa
On 21 June 2017, the day of the #SocialMediaBlackout, tweets and retweets totalled 1 014 134 posts and was 6% above the daily average of 956 080 posts. This was, however, below the average from the past year.
Over the 24-hour period, posts increased throughout the day as represented below.
According to the data, Thursdays are the most popular for Twitter users, followed by Wednesdays.
The total number of posts was also 3% above the average number of posts on Wednesdays in 2017.
Not only was overall Twitter usage higher than average, but #SocialMediaBlackout was a trending topic and was the second most used hashtag, accounting for 2% of total tweets and retweets in South Africa on 21 June 2017.
Although it is unclear how the social media protest was expected to result in significant change to data prices, the drive has had no impact. MTN and Vodacom reported that there was no notable difference to internet usage over the past 24 hours.
South Africans are all talk and no bite. Despite the topic of data being a pain point for many South Africans, and although individuals have been vocal about grievances around the perceived high cost of data, when it comes down to actually taking action we aren’t prepared to do anything more than complain.
Find out more about the hashtag as well as other data-related hashtags below:
- #SocialMediaBlackout Stats – Fantomdan
- MTN Stops Free Unlimited Twitter Service Due to “Abuse” – Tech Financials
- #DataMustFall: Ntsiki Mazwai Calls On SA to Participate in Social Media Blackout – Eye Witness News
- #SocialMediaBlackout had no impact on data traffic or bundle purchases – MyBroadband
- Why #SocialMediaBlackout failed and trended instead – Fin24Tech
- The irony of #SocialMediaBlackout – IOL
- Ntsiki Mazwai Lambastes Local Celebs for Not Joining Data Fight – Times Live