Social Networking and social media are growing in significance and have become an integral part of the digital lifestyle. When the terms ‘social networks’ and ‘social websites’ are used, the likes of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube all come to mind.
But online research shows that there are a myriad of social networks that have been developed and introduced in Africa (many originating inSouth Africa), specifically to meet the requirements of local users.
Some are focused particularly on regions, others encapsulate everything that the continent has to offer.
IT News Africa has delved into the look & feel, content and functionality of some of the African Social Networks that are out there, and listed, what we believe, to be a few of the best around.
This is a portal that offers free online services to Africans, including a social networking facility to meet people, a business advertising and promotion section, as well as the opportunity to list products and services. There is a distinct business feel to the site, but it offers a balance between personal and professional pursuits.
A South African focused social site that features a number of interactive functions – from a chat room, mini-blogs, videos and profiles. Although there is a lot of content and a healthy dose of multi-media, the browser is unlikely to struggle because the look & feel is neat.
Visually striking, this website is a membership-driven social network that aims to bring people from all over the continent together. True to many ofAfrica’s social network offerings, AfricanPlanet facilitates both personal and business content.
The website’s name is certainly striking and its aim is to serve as an online community catering to the needs of Tanzanians. It offers a host of multimedia including blogs, music, chats and forums.
The mobility concept comes through earnestly on this site. Organisers encourage users to build their own communities, and the site has been established to help users, brands, agencies and publishers to construct and manage their own mobile social communities.
Designed with the purpose of facilitating communication between Africans all over the globe, Afroterminal has a strong interactive flavour – with various forums that members can use to keep in touch. There is a rolling image panel of featured members, and new member section, as well as topics for discussion.
Yookos (You Own Your Kosmos), a uniquely African social networking site, believe now is the time to use emerging technology to offer the best ofAfricato the world. What started as a large-scale online platform to network and encourage prayer among people, has now emerged as a corporate entity with operational head quarters inSouth Africawith presence in 160 countries and 6 million registered users.
A formidable player in the social networking space, Mxit lives up to its reputation as a zone where people can blend a number of multi-media applications. Music and mobility are central themes on this site, and it offers the browser a number of facilities through which to engage fellow users.