‘Happy New Year’ was the most famous message across the world – including Nigeria, as people in countries – according to timezone – saw the first hours of 2013. Tweets, short messages, emails, chats and other social posts were exchanged between folks, associates and colleagues to close or open compliments for the New Year.
In Nigeria, people took to social networks to express themselves, using their mobile phones, from wherever the New Year met them to send or return compliments. Facebook posts, tweets, Blackberry Messenger (BBM) messages, WhatsApp, 2go, text messages, Google + posts and blog posts were major channel of exchanges as Nigerians entered 2013.
The year begins with no drama compared with 2012 when people protested government’s total removal of fuel subsidy and many used social networks to mobilise others for protests and to pass messages until it gets to top government bureaucrats. The protest and labour strike was called off, after a week, when government budged returning part subsidy, on each liter of petrol.
Nigeria is in love with social media, with the President and other senior government figures having accounts that people use in getting directly to them. Most Nigerians now have smartphones, with the trend growing from youths, out to adolescents, middle-aged people and seniors, as desire to stay connected with folks — rose.
Particularly interesting is love with Twitter – a short messaging social network – that gets people to share their thoughts with the world, or a close group of friends – for secured accounts. The 140-character summarised message (or Tweet), has extended to BBM’s personal message of 160-character, that gets people to update their status with suggestions, thoughts and experience — for those on their contacts list to read.
These messages can result in new tweets, re-tweets, replies or direct messages, if on a blackberry phone and information is shared between the Twitter account and BBM. There is also WhatsApp where those with the App installed on their phone can reach other phone book contacts with the same application, to have conversation that only involves data-charges.
Google + is doing fine with growing use, and Nigerians are having fun, free to express themselves and do business with technology tools of present-time. There will be several events in 2013, for individuals, their concerns, for Nigeria and globally. There will also be new features in these technologies, and as expected, Nigerians will embrace and share more using them.
Research in Motion is expected to release its Blackberry 10 Operating System by the end of this month, upgrading from the Blackberry 7 common in Nigeria and out since 2011. There will also be new features for Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS, which will further interest and have more people share, using these Operating Systems.
More Nigerians – presently – compared with same time of 2012, have social network accounts, making it part of their lives – substituting emails. 2013 as Nigerians are into – with social networks, will continue the trend and encourage purchase of devices to interestingly use their social media accounts.