Facebook clicks a threat to Kenyan TV stations and Radio, Really?

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So the new research by Synovate indicates that Kenya has more than 3.5 million monthly internet users with over two million using Facebook.? Facebook, according to Business Daily story by Kui Kinyanjui, could spell trouble for the local TV stations and Radio in terms of ad revenues. Over two millions? on Facebook is a big number by Kenyan standards and counting.? Soon all the adverts probably will be heading towards Facebook direction and the end product is, we are building America. Talk of the National economic interest if there is anything like that. But there is something very strange about all this, take a look at the following facts about the local TV Stations, radios and Newspapers

1 . Radios advertising Facebook

Most radio stations urge their users to join them in Facebook for the discussions going on at that point, in particular the morning shows and evening drives as they call them. So if you are? on your computer or you have your phone the first place to catch up with catchy issues? of relationships which are commonly discussed on such shows is Facebook.? For the sake of vision 2030, i wish they would be promoting the local websites or blogs which are very capable of providing discussion platform.. mmm how about kachwanya.com. On a serious note, there are many local social? networking sites which provide discussion forum and promoting them i believe could be good for Kenyan economy and everyone around. But unfortunately? media houses don’t like talking about them? because they consider them not mainstream enough. If internet was like selling clothes, there would be a big outcry that American products are being dumped in the local market thus killing the local industry as we have seen before with Chinese Textile. But the internet and the technology has blinded many and effectively hiding? that fact.? Therefore, we don’t see the fact that promoting local websites could turn them to big businesses as it is the case in the other parts of the world.

The following are a few examples of local social network sites as good as any other in the world

www.iborian.com

www.whive.com

www.sembuse.com

www.kasarani.com

www.haiya.co.ke

www.kenyasocialnetwork.com

http://smenetwork.co.ke

www.wazua.com

www.mashada.com

2.? Newspapers advocating for Facebook

It is great for the Businesses to use Social media and in particular i like the way Kenya Airways, NSEKEnya, are doing it on Twitter. They constantly interact with Twitter users who have questions and even complains. Now let come back to Daily Nation, they too have a twitter account @dailynation which is fantastic.? But most of their links or all that i have tried before take you straight to Facebook and not their website.

Daily Nation Twitter Page

Daily Nation Twitter Page

The above shown tweets are linked to Facebook. One advantage Facebook status update has over twitter is the fact that its characters limitation is long enough to allow proper communication on one go. With Facebook fan page status update, the Nation Daily post their breaking news on their Facebook fan page.

Facebook Daly Nation Fan Page

Facebook Daily Nation Fan Page

As you can see from the diagram above all the discussions take place on Facebook. Now the bigger question is if you want to advertise, will you do it on Facebook or Daily Nation Website?

The truth is the reason why most people are not advertising on Facebook and Google, is because of the trouble with online payment. If that is sorted out then most Media houses and companies which rely on the ad revenues in Kenya might find themselves in the wilderness.

I know people will start arguing that some local? websites are not upto standards but really is that true. Do you remember some of these famous websites how they looked like when they were starting? You expect a Kenyan doing local search engine to do a better search engine than Google at the present time while Google took years to reach where they are now. You expect a Kenyan trying to do a local social networking site to come up with a site better than Facebook at the present while you know very well that Facebook as it? is at the present is not how it was two years ago, even one month ago.

Recently @Kellie on her Rookie Manager blog argued that E Business ideas can’t be replicated like let say a shop in Meru, because we are living in a global village and we already have Google and Facebook. My answer to that instantly? was we can do it, just like Chinese have done it with Search Engines and even Social Networks. Let take the success of Baidu search Engine, according Robert McGarvey of internetevoluation.com

The numbers rock: Chinese Internet search biggie Baidu Inc. (Nasdaq: BIDU) (trading as BIDU on Nasdaq) yesterday announced a 48 percent profit surge for the fourth quarter of 2009 and predicted a strong first quarter with revenues hitting $176 to $181 million, above analyst predictions of $170 million.

You might be ready to say many things about Chinese and their stuffs but one thing will remain for a long long time, their? ecomic growth is phenomenon and? i am sure there is no country in the world that does not envy that. Actually they have just overtaken Germany as the World biggest exporter.

The question one would be asking is how can i compare China, a country with billion people with Kenya. The truth is business concept is the same, most businesses target locals or Kenyans,ranging from mobile phone network operators, ISPs, Food Joints, Banks. If you were to advertise online in most cases you will be targeting 3.5 million Kenyans and not over 2 billion online users. I agree it is now very easy to sell to anybody anything from anywhere in the world, but if you talk to the Marketing executives in Kenya, they ask for the stats, profiles and mostly how many Kenyans you are? reaching. True story from experience with Maduqa.com.? Having that in mind it goes without saying that the target of the the Kenyans trying to do e Business are? those Kenyans online.? My point is give them time and chance.

Back to The Business daily article by Kui Kinyanjui and there is part which did not completely make sense to me and many others.? Read carefully ? “As a result, a quarter of Kenyans who are online do not even have an e-mail address, a significant change from five years ago, when 89 per cent of all Internet users in the country had e-mail address” A quarter of online Kenyans do not have email addresses, how can that be true? What are they doing online? All the social network sites I know require people to signup using their email addresses. It can be easily be? assumed that the so called? 25% are not on Facebook, other social network sites and any other website which requires people to sign up.?? On twitter, @Mwirigi tweeting today Morning had this to say ” You can’t say that 79% of Kenyans online are on FB, then go on and say 25% of them have no e-mail addresses, how do they log in? P.O. Box?”

What is your opinion on the topic?
Kennedy Kachwanya
Lead Blogger at Kachwanya.com
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Kennedy Kachwanya is a technology blogger interested in mobile phones both smart and dumb, mobile apps, mobile money, social media, startups ecosystem and digital Savannah. New media must not forget the strength of old tech.
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