It’s hard to ignore the enormous success that ByteDance’s TikTok has had across the world – it had been suggested that before the recent ban in India, the app could be approaching close to 400 million active users in the region, a big portion of its nearly one billion active user accounts. One of the latest targets for the social media platform had been Africa as the emerging tech market is being considered the future for many app developers.
Away from the border tensions and disagreements with content in Asia and the ongoing disagreements in North America, the early efforts to get TikTok moving in Africa are really starting to take off – the growth in South Africa was considered ‘astonishing’ and the support is given by the social media platform has been huge too – the dedicated social media accounts for Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya are all working to aggressively establish influencers into its fold with inclusive events such as the Africa Day challenge and the #MadibaJiveChallenge to honor the late Nelson Mandela.
The push makes sense for the demographic too – Africa is the world’s youngest continent with the median age of 20 and with an evolving lifestyle that is starting to mimic that of western culture is taking hold, and although it’s still early days for the app which has only really become widely available on the continent in the last year or so, it certainly is gaining a lot of traction – with the ongoing threat of bans in parts of Europe and the US, Africa could be the saving grace here. Although if the app does finalize a sale to the U.S which may be set to happen in the coming weeks, it’s hard to tell if this will affect the market at all in different parts of the world.
Social media apps such as TikTok aren’t the only things succeeding in the young African nations either however as mobile gaming is experiencing a similar meteoric rise – the heart of this rise can be found in mobile casinos as a growing number of young players are turning to online alternatives following the huge successes found for brick and mortar locations. There are some challenges to overcome as the online regulation is still a little up in the air, and where other countries such as the UK have restrictive measures in place such as Gamstop, African users are typically free to use any foreign site such as Maximum Casinos which list available non-Gamstop sites to play on.
It’s an exciting time for mobile users as a whole across the African continent as changes are coming very quickly – continued improvements to infrastructure and the adoption of a western cultured lifestyle for much of the younger generation is seeing the mobile platform find huge success and whilst there are many hoping that the impact of changes in TikTok across the world will have little change seen in Africa, there are many content creators who will be watching closely just to be sure.