UPDATED 6/5/15 – Now with corrected figures for Radio One, and the inclusion of the political cartoonist, Masoud Kipanya.
Tanzanian media companies compete fiercely for readers, listeners and viewers. Increasingly, they battle for followers and likes in the social media space as well.
So who is winning?
I looked through a selection of Tanzania’s leading media companies, Swahili versions of some international media houses, and a few high profile individuals in the Tanzanian media sector. In each case, I looked at how many “likes” they had for their facebook page (if they have one), and how many followers for their twitter account (if they have one).
I can’t claim my selection is comprehensive, so apologies if I left out your favourites.
There’s a lot in this data, but some initial conclusions:On facebook, @JamiiForums is way out in front of any other Tanzanian media , with over a million likes. Bongo Movies, EATV and ITV also have large facebook audiences.
2. In general, the Tanzanian media has a much stronger presence on facebook than twitter.
3. There are exceptions to this. The East African and Clouds FM have much larger audiences on twitter than on facebook. Similarly, several individuals in the media sector – Reginald Mengi, Maria Sarungi, Issa Michuzi and Haki Ngowi – are stronger on twitter than facebook.
4. Among the individuals on my list, only the radio presenter Millard Ayo and cartoonist Masoud Kipanya have a very substantial facebook fan-base. But individuals lead the way on twitter, with @millardayo at the front of the pack . With 236,000 followers, he has the highest twitter following of anyone in the Tanzanian media, and the third highest of anyone in Tanzania, behind only President Kikwete (266,000) and Zitto Kabwe (263,000).
5. Some of those with the biggest facebook fanbase have tiny followings on twitter – Bongo Movies is the clearest example, but also DW Swahili, ITV, The Citizen and HabariLeo.
6. The Citizen leads its sister paper, Mwananchi, on facebook, but is miles behind on twitter.
7. The government-owned media (Daily News and HabariLeo), are much stronger on facebook than twitter, though TBC is effectively absent from both.
8. IPP Media (The Guardian and Nipashe newspapers, and ITV Tanzania and Radio One), has put no effort into building a social media presence for its newspapers, though ITV and Radio One have considerable followings on facebook.