Africa Sent More New Users to Facebook in March

Last month was a good one for Facebook in Africa, as growth went up in five of the seven countries that Facebook tracks. The group added almost half a million new users during the month of March, according to the latest stats from the Global Monitor data within Inside Facebook Gold.

North Africa is still posting the best numbers for the region, both in terms of monthly active user growth and overall penetration. Tunisia swapped places with Morocco in March to lead with 135,160 new MAU, pushing its penetration up to an even 13 percent. (Note that we cover Egypt, another northern African country with roughly equal growth, in our Middle East post.)

Nigeria remains the third-fastest growing country, with 79,020 new users in March. With a population of 151 million people, it’s almost as big as all of north Africa; however, the country is still working to reach one percent penetration. That leaves it with the smallest relative pool of Facebook users in the African group, a situation likely to persist for a few months.

It’s followed by South Africa, which has a significantly higher penetration but is one of the two countries that didn’t add more users in March than in February, although the difference is only a few thousand MAU. The other country to lose some momentum was Ghana.

Between them is sandwiched Kenya with 32,820 new users and just 1.6 percent penetration — although a user commented last month that polls in the country show that 79 percent of internet users are on Facebook. That may actually be the case, as we count penetration against total population. Kenya could also have many more people connecting on mobile devices, like many of the other African countries.

Last month we forgot to point out Mauritius, which actually has the highest penetration among the African countries, at 13.8 percent. Its population, though, is only 1,268,854 people. Here’s the graph:

At 10,474,660 MAU, Africa remains the smallest world region by number of Facebook users, running about even with the Arabian Peninsula sub-region. However, its penetration, at 2.8 percent, is slightly higher than Asia’s 2.3 percent. The above graph comes from the Global Monitor report, which provides in-depth info on 98 countries, but its original source is Facebook itself, which delays its data by several weeks.