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  Like much of the rest of the developing world, Nigeria continues to see an uptick in the number of its citizens utilizing digital technology. From mobile devices to the web and social media, millions more Nigerians joined the mass of previously existing users of digital solutions, increasing the country’s dependence on these products and platforms.
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In this article, we’ll talk about the top 10 trends in digital technology in 2023 concerning user numbers. Much of the data here is drawn from the Digital Nigeria report for 2023, published by Meltwater, in association with several global research partners.
  • Nigeria had roughly 220 million mobile connections in 2023, up by about 10% from the previous year. This is well over 90% of Nigeria’s population (note that the figure for mobile connections does not represent the number of unique individuals with mobile connectivity).
  • There were 122.5 million internet users in Nigeria in January 2023, an increase of 2.9 million or 2.4% from January 2022. This also means that the internet penetration rate—the percentage of the total population that uses the internet –stood at 55.4% of the total population.
  • About 98.63 million Nigerians did not use the internet at the start of 2023, meaning that 44.6% of the population was offline. For comparison, 27.7% of South Africa’s population was offline in the same period. The figure was 27.8% for Egypt and 31.8% for Ghana.
  • 97% of internet users in Nigeria access the web with their mobile phones. That’s compared to the global average of 95%. Meanwhile, about 25% of them browse the internet on a laptop or desktop, with a majority of this category doing so on their devices, as opposed to those used at work.
  • Internet connection speeds for mobile and fixed channels increased between 2022 and 2023. Median connection speeds via cellular networks were recorded to be 19.84 Mbps, while fixed internet connection hovered around 11.84 Mbps—rising by 2.47 Mbps and 1.78 Mbps respectively.

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  • There were 31.60 million social media users in Nigeria in 2023, representing 14.3% of the country’s total population. Approximately 28.20 million users were aged 18 and above, equivalent to a quarter of the total population of persons aged 18 years or higher.
  • In January 2023, about 44.7% of Nigeria’s social media users were female, and 55.3% were male. For context, 49.5% of the country’s total population is female, and 50.5% is male.
  • WhatsApp has the highest number of users of any messaging platform in Nigeria; one source says there are 51 million users in Nigeria as of 2024, the fourth highest of any country in the world (behind Pakistan, Germany, and the Philippines, in that order).
  • Facebook has the second-highest number of users of any social media platform in Nigeria, with 21.75 million Nigerians using it in 2023. However, potential ad reach for Facebook in Nigeria fell by 4.4 million accounts between 2022 and 2023, a decrease of 16.7%.

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  • Twitter (now ‘X’) appears to be the least used of all the major social media platforms in Nigeria (including Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and YouTube), with about 4.95 million users early in 2023—just 2.2% of the country’s total population.

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This article was first published on 31st January 2024 and updated on February 5th, 2024 at 2:50 pm


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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