While Internet penetration in Nigeria has gone through the roof, the number of social media users in the country are still low even in 2021.

Nigeria has an estimated population of 208 million people. Of these, there are 188 million mobile lines. Note that in many cases, individuals own multiple lines.

Social media users in Nigeria 2021

But only 104 million Internet connections exist – mostly via mobile data.

Mobile data is any Internet connection via mobile networks e.g. MTN, Glo, Airtel, and 9mobile. Thanks to the wide coverage of these mobile operators, subscribers in many nooks and crannies of the country have access to the Internet.

But if you think that huge access translates to high social media usage, you are mistaken. According to information published by Hootsuite, there are only 33 million social media users in Nigeria as at January 2021.

33 million social media users translates to 16%. Hootsuite’s figures were obtained from multiple sources, including the UN, local government bodies, GSMA Intelligence, ITU, social media platforms, and more

What of smartphone penetration in Nigeria? Recently, MTN disclosed that smartphone penetration on their network had hit 46% at the end of 2020. That translates to 34.8 million smartphones, which is impressive.

As MTN is the dominant operator in the country, it is safe to use this as a yardstick for the industry. Which would mean that we can roughly estimate that there are 86 million smartphones in circulation in Nigeria as at January 2021.

In summary:

  • There are 188 million mobile lines in the country.
  • There are 104 million Internet connections in Nigeria in 2021.
  • There are 86 million smartphone users in the country.
  • There are 33 million social media users.


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