Social apps take over SA smartphones

JOHANNESBURG, 14 October 2016:- For the second consecutive year, social media apps have dominated free downloads on all three major app stores in South Africa, namely Google Play for Android, the Apple App Store for iOS, and the Windows Store.

This is one of the key findings of of the South African Social Media Landscape study by technology research organisation World Wide Worx and media analytics company Fuseware. The headline findings released in September showed steady growth for most social networks, but the full report, released today, reveals just how deeply entrenched their mobile apps have become in South Africa.

The study is based on access to consumer data from seven major social networks, three app stores, and a corporate survey conducted among more than a hundred of South Africa’s leading brands.

WhatsApp in particular is dominant, topping the list of both iOS and Android downloads. Only in the Windows Store does it drop, down to third position, with its parent company Facebook enjoying number one position. Facebook is second in free iOS downloads and third in Android.

Facebook properties dominate the next two positions on iOS as well, with Facebook Messenger and Instagram rounding out the top four. The Google Play store has the same top four, in a slightly different order, with Facebook Messenger at two and Instagram also in fourth place.

Windows Phone has a slightly different mix, thanks to marketing emphasis by Microsoft, which has its own Podcast app in second, its cloud storage app OneDrive in fourth place, and the Microsoft-owned Skype in fifth. However, Facebook messenger lies sixth, giving Facebook three of the top six spots for free Windows Store downloads.

“It can be argued that Facebook currently owns mobile – but not necessarily its revenue,” says Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx. “Games completely dominate the top ten lists for highest grossing apps on iOS and Android, filling the entire top ten on each, as well as the top eight in the Windows Store.”

Fuseware MD Mike Wronski points out that smartphones have not been entirely taken over by entertainment impulses: “The occasional utility app does intrude in the list of most downloaded paid apps. The serious professional and business users of smartphones still want to combine their social and work lives on their handsets.”

The report shows that Facebook has grown by 8 per cent in the past year, from 12-million to 13-million, and Twitter by 12 per cent, from 6,6-million to 7,4-million users. Video sharing platform YouTube increased its user base marginally more, with a 15 per cent rise from 7,2-million to 8,28-million users. The biggest growth has come from photo sharing network Instagram, which rose 133 per cent, from 1,1-million to 2,68-million.


For more information contact:

World Wide Worx:
Arthur Goldstuck
Mobile: 083 326 4345
Telephone: 011 782 7003

Mike Wronski
Mobile: 074 1041969

6 Reasons to attend Tech4Africa

Speakers from: World Wide Creative, Techstars, Sw7, Parcelninja, Discovery Health, PayFast, Microsoft, Junk Mail, Opera, Datawind, Gumtree, SA Florist, Nic Harry, Barclays, Memeburn and Thoughtworks. Covering disruption, eCommerce, IoT / Makers, Leadership, Marketing, Mobile, The Next Billion, Social, Startups, Tech, UX & Women in Tech.

Bigger & Better
This year we have 12 tracks, 4 event days, with 79 excellent speakers in 70 sessions.
Tech4Africa is the largest tech innovation, startup and entrepreneur platform in Africa.

Covering topical, relevant subjects you won’t find in Powerpoint sales pitches
Disruption, eCommerce, IoT / Makers, Leadership, Marketing, Mobile, The Next Billion, Social, Startups, Tech, UX & Women in Tech

Networking on Steroids

We congregate the African tech industry. Expect to meet: marketeers, entrepreneurs, technologists, opinion leaders, business strategists, start­‐ups, educators, corporates, journalists, tweeters, bloggers, developers, VC’s and more. So there is plenty of opportunity for meeting new people.

Skill up, Hack on, Start up, added learning opportunities

On the two days prior to Tech4Africa there will be a Random Hack of Kindness, and the day after Tech4Africa, we’re putting on a Startup Day By Entrepreneurs, for Entrepreneurs.

New location
We’re now in the iconic FNB Stadium, and we love it!

Always fun extra stuff
We are going to race drones in the FNB Stadium!

Lots of networking opportunities before, during and after.
Did we mention lots of FREE coffee?
After-parties both nights.
Over R25k of prizes, lots of tech schwag to take home!

Don’t miss out. Get your tickets now.

Food available on-site
No need to worry about finding local eateries for your breakfast and lunch. We’ll have food available at the venue.

Who goes to Tech4Africa?
Account Manager, Africa correspondent, Blogger, Campaign Manager, CEO, Chairman, Chief Sales and Marketing Office, Co-founder, Communications Officer, COO, CTO, Corporate Communication Specialist, Customer Experience Lead, Developer, Digital Brand Manager, Digital Platforms Manager, Editor-in-chief, Enterprise Architect, Executive Editor, Founder, Group CEO, Group Communications Manager, Hacker, Head of Analytics, Optimisation and Usability, Head of Digital Communications, Head of Digital Media and Marketing, Head of Engage, Head of Optimise, Head of PR and Communications, Head of Social Media, Head of Technical Operations, Head of Technology, Head: Digital Marketing Campaigns, Head: Digital Presence, Head: Product Development & Portals, Managing Director, Managing Editor, Managing Partner, Marketing & Commercial Manager, Marketing & Sales Manager, Marketing Director, Marketing Manager, MD, Online Manager, Operations Manager, Owner, Partner, Product Development Manager, Product Manager, Project Manager, Researcher, Sales Director, Senior Business Analyst, Senior Manager: Strategic Contract R&D, Social media evangelist, Software Engineer, Technology Solutions Manager, Surveys Editor, Systems & Devices Manager, Talent Development, Technical Director, Technical Evangelist, Technology Editor, Technology Strategy, Usability expert, User Interface developer, Writer

Quotes from previous attendees:

@rudshep: Really an awesome day at Tech4Africa conference. This level of energy and optimism I have not seen anywhere else. SA Tech Rocks!
@ShawnGraaff: @Tech4Africa has reached out to over 150 cities, mostly main cities in Africa, this is how you empower and innovate a continent #T4A
@liambeeton: We have come to the end of @Tech4Africa #T4A. I really enjoyed myself, met some great people and am taking so much info away.
@imel: @Tech4Africa great being here, fantastic optimism in the air #t4a
@glenbvuma: Made the right choice by attending @Tech4Africa instead of marching with Malema. Really learning a lot from the guys. #T4A

Don’t miss out. Get your tickets now.


Podcast of the unscripted radio interview on Tshwane FM about the upcoming RHOK at Tech4Africa.

SoundCloud embed:
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Tech4Africa Jonathan Smit of Payfast – Interview

Gareth talks to Jonathan about Payfast, the journey, what they actually do, and where they are going.

Soundcloud embed:
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#tech4africa, #payfast, #payment processing, #africa, #growth, #startup, #entrepreneur

Tech4Africa focusses on local content, stories and successes

After 5 years of authentic content, Tech4Africa returns to Johannesburg on the 7th & 8th October for two days of inspiring and engaging talks at the iconic Kalabash. Widely recognised as the SxSW of Africa, Tech4Africa has leveraged it’s community speaker submission platform to uncover and profile local stories, successes and learnings.

Over the two full days, Tech4Africa will be featuring 55 speakers over 12 speaker tracks, a Hackathon for two days before the main event, and alongside the accelerator SW7 a specialist Startup Day “by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs” afterwards. It’s certainly action packed, and there seems to be something for everyone.

Says Gareth Knight, the founder of Tech4Africa: “In 2013 we realised that the local market is very different to the international one, and whilst everyone wants to imitate the Valley hotshots, the reality is that the combination of market size, buying power, skills and access to capital all mean a different playing field for everyone on the ground, and so we narrowed focus on the local stories which make up the local ecosystem.”

Amongst the 55 speaker seesions, Fraser Black and Nicholas Wallander will be talking about the deal behind their investment deal for their ecommerce site “SA Florist” on Dragons Den. Nic Haralambous will be talking about what it’s like to sell a mobile startup and then build a profitable ecommerce business selling socks online and in stores. Steve Evans will be talking about the “Underdog mentaility” and what it takes to bring down established Giants.

Says Knight: “In Cape Town the stories these guys told really resonated with everyone. It’s real, it’s current, and it’s relavant. You’re getting it straight from the proverbial horses mouth, so the learning is fantastic.”

At the end of each of the two days, and as is becoming the norm for Tech4Africa, there is a big focus on networking, having fun and building relationships, so they are going to be putting on a live DJ set, and plenty of free drinks for everyone. Delegates can also expect the coffee to be free!

Says Knight: “This year we’re really excited about the speaker quality we’ve seen start the speaking process. It’s taken a big bet on the ecosystem, and after 3 years it feels like everyone is finally realising that we’re only about good content, not Death by Powerpoint and certainly not snorefests. So this year in Joburg we’re proud to profile a bumper crop of speakers who have amazing experiences to share, and important lessons to impart. We’re ecstatic our speaker submission and voting process is working, and that the local stories are starting to percolate. It’s fantastic content, so we’ll see you there!”

The website can be found at: and anyone can register at Tickets are R500 for the main event on the 7th & 8th October, and R350 for the Startup Day on the 9th October. The Hackathon is FREE, and dates are 5th & 6th October.

Tech4Africa challenges established development teams

This year Tech4Africa is running a Hackathon on the two days prior to the main event. The Hackathon is aimed at imparting workplace skills around collaboration, and instilling the notion that a simple utility value product can be shipped in two days when a team pulls together.

And he’s the rub: Tech4Africa is challenging all tech teams from established companies to send at least one person to the Hackathon, to share their skills, even if for a few hours.

The founder of Tech4Africa, Gareth Knight, says: “Our contention is that the Europeans and Americans are going to figure out pretty quickly that the African market is going to be big enough to target once the $50 smartphone reaches ubiquity, and indeed some of them already have, but they’re not local and they don’t understand the local market, so there is a gap. That said, we also think there is a lack of skill around technical execution in the African market. So whilst the Hackathon doesn’t solve it, it will give the participants the confidence to build and release something, so we start the cycle sooner.”

So whilst the Hackathon isn’t aimed at experienced developers, there is definitely a need for skills to be shared in much the same way this is done all over the world. You just have to think of the PayPal & Skype mafia to understand how important it is for anyone to gain industry knowledge from people who have already done it.

Unlike most Hackathons the format will be different and the attendees will all work on the same project, but within their different skill sets and abilities, so there are plenty of opportunities for experienced developers to pass on their skills for the next generation of hackers.

To support this, Microsoft are sponsoring Azure cloud instances which will give the developers the ability to push their code live, as well as FREE online training. Tech4Africa will be running Google Hangouts beforehand to help the developers get up to speed.

Says Knight: “It’s pretty simple: as an organisation we’re not about ivory towers and fishbowls, we’re about merit, earning success, and acknowleding the realities of the market we live in, so we’re going to welcome anyone who has something to learn, and everyone who wants to share how they’ve learnt. I built my career on that principle, and so we’re hoping that the established tech teams can see the value in it too.”

Anyone interested in participating need only register for FREE on the Tech4Africa site.

The Hackathon website can be found at, the main website at: and anyone can register at Tickets are FREE.

Tech4Africa launches the Random Hack of Kindness, focusses on workplace skills

This year Tech4Africa is running a Hackathon on the two days prior to the main event. This is an interesting development since they ran two Hackathons two years ago, and then stopped doing them altogether, until now.

When quizzed about this the founder of Tech4Africa, Gareth Knight, said: “The first two Hackathons we ran were great days and I think the attendees got a lot out of it, but we felt afterwards that they didn’t live up to our expectations. And then looking at the ecosystem, we felt that there were already enough events doing that, so why try compete on that basis?”

Which is fair enough… but then Knight says “… And then one event I asked the audience how many of them were using some sort of source control, or CI for deployments, or who worked in teams bigger than 2, and the numbers were shocking poor – clearly there is a lot going on in the ecosystem, but we started questioning whether it was actually relevant. So this year we’ve decided to do something a little different, with the focus on a utility product for the African market, and the core skills taught being code collaboration and shipping product. When you unpack this, it’s basically our mantra of: Want to build big tech product for Africa? Focus on product with daily value for user. Mobile first. Make it easy to share. Make sure cash-flow has you in it.

So, unlike most Hackathons, the format will be different: the attendees will all work on the same project, but within their different skill sets and abilities, and everyone will share the same codebase. The objective will be to release a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) onto Github in 2 days, for anyone to take a look at, and to make sure that everyone attending has the skills to collaborate on software projects of 2 or 20. After that, if the MVP is good enough it will be demo’d at the main Tech4Africa event and to the Johannesburg City Council.

To support this, Microsoft are sponsoring Azure cloud instances which will give the developers the ability to push their code live, as well as FREE online training. Tech4Africa will be running Google Hangouts beforehand to help the developers get up to speed.

Says Knight: “It’s hard to overstate how far behind we are in Africa in some respects, and we think that focussing on developing skills around collaboration and releasing products is the most productive thing we can do right now to help grow innovation in Africa. We’re excited by this approach, and so far the number of signups is validating this. It’s going to be awesome!”.

The Hackathon website can be found at, the main website at: and anyone can register at Tickets are FREE.

You can also watch this video to understand more: