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How Ugandans Are Using Social Media

Today, social media is the leading platform, people are using as a media of communication.

Social Media, is a new away people are connecting to their loved ones; Family, Friends, Relatives, and so forth, far and near them. Social sites/platforms such as: Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, Telegram, SnapChat and many more sites are some of the platforms we’re using today as a media of communications.

Early this year, during the Presidential elections, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) ordered blockage of social media for three days as Ugandans were voting, but people still managed to access them using VPNs, this shows how much Ugandans can’t live minus social media.

Recent research has shown that people are now spending more time sending messages using social Medias than using SMS’s. Therefore, telecom companies are benefiting a lot from this. One is able to spend up-to 100 Mbs of data in a day for social networking than buying credit for SMS’s or calling since most of these platforms are able to do this [SMS’s and Voice Calls].

For instance WhatsApp, one is able to send messages and at the same time s/he is able to make a call. The one problem comes in, that a lot of data can be spent on calls. However, recently, we had an article on how to limit mobile data usage and what data package is good for you.

Today, most Ugandans have smartphones, and these smartphones are the second most popular devices used in web search.

According to some sources, on an estimation, 60% of Ugandans have access to these phones translating it to more than 20 million out of the 30+ million Ugandan population.

According to some sources we came across, 55% of people are using social media to stay in touch with what friends are doing in their day-to-day life and 36% are using social media just because their friends were already there.

These applications can drain your battery, however, we still don’t give up at all.

We managed to sum up some of the reasons how Ugandans are using social media

News Follow-ups
Social media not only in Uganda, but globally, is a faster way to get news. Diana Nanyonjo, an intern at Eight Technologies Ltd. told Pc Tech that people communicate much faster on social media, in case any kind of news breaks out, one is able to be notified by his/her friends. She gave an example of how she got to know about the death of the MPs daughter along Entebbe road.

Thus, news follow-ups in Uganda, is a big reason people are using social media.

Making and Staying in touch with Friends
Okay! This is so obvious, making friends here is one of the reasons Ugandans are using social media. A larger percentage of Ugandans are using Facebook more than any of other social media platforms and this large percentage are the “youth.”

Samuel Kazibwe, a 4th year student at Makerere University, told Pc Tech, “During my high school times, when we were sent off for holidays, I always wanted to stay in touch with my friends,  phones were expensive, so I couldn’t afford one and I thought Facebook would be the answer to my solution, and indeed, it was.” “From then, I was able to chat and stay connected with my friends. I would spend 500 UGX in an internet café to chat with them.” “And I think, this applies to most of the youth in high schools.”

Many Ugandans, today prefer conducting their business on social media. Businesses have taken on the use of social media such as; WhatsApp for customer care and general inquiries, companies like UMEME, TCMG have already adopted to this platform. Not forgetting Facebook, many Ugandans are now promoting their business via the social network platform.

In Uganda, people love “awareness,” event happenings, social gatherings, breaking news and so forth. Social media is a place of awareness, informing of people on what is going to happen or what is happening.

Kenneth Twesigye, CEO at First Fortune Systems, says, “social media platforms such as; Twitter is one of the best way we keep our customers and clients informed to-date. For instance when we attend a certain event, we’re in position to live tweet to keep them informed on what is happening at the event.” “And since we have periscope, this is much better. It’s just awesome.” He adds.

He concludes saying, “Awareness on social media is what keeps us informed and keeps us going. Thanks to theses social platforms.”

Share photos and videos
Photo-sharing platforms; Instagram and SnapChat are one of the best social platforms for sharing photos and videos. On an estimation, 60% of females are using these platforms more than the males.

Suzan G. Kirabo, a 3rd year student at Uganda Christian University, to Pc Tech, say she always uses Instagram, because it’s a way to see how your friends look today and if they’re in shape. “We take a long time minus seeing most of our friends, so when I see them on Instagram posting their pictures, I always get happy to see that they’re doing just fine.”

“In my own opinion, as long as I see my friends physically or in photos, I am happy to see that they are fine, I have to go ahead and like their photos.” She adds.[related-posts]

Pc Tech did manage to get some opinions from other people who pointed out their views of social media in Uganda:

  1. Michael Niyitegeka, and IT Consultant, thinks that most Ugandan’s are using WhatsApp as largely a messaging app although it is function could be evolving to include news and knowledge sharing. He adds saying, “WhatsApp calls are picking up but still on the low end because of the quality of network challenges.”

He concludes by saying, WhatsApp is also a way to keep in touch with all sorts of groups       emerging and challenge is how to keep up with all of them.

  1. Tusiime Samson, Managing Director at Veritas Interactive, thinks most people are using social media for personal communication but he also noticed of late that people are using social media for business as well. According to Sam, “most people would now prefer to use WhatsApp to communicate with a client instead of email because of the promptness that it brings.”
  2. Ruth Aine, a Blogger, thinks social media keeps peers in touch, whether school, work, advocacy – rights groups, listening in to trends, because they are private carry out all forms of conversation.
  3. Phillip K. Nayebare, an Intern at Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI), thinks Ugandans are using social media as Online Meeting Places. According to Phillip, “These platforms work well as online meeting places for industrial experts to meet and discuss various aspects of their business.”
  1. Diana Nanyonjo, an Intern at Eight Technologies Ltd., says “social media saves on costs of sending out information and also covers a large group. Instead of sending everyone and SMS, you could probably just create groups, for instance in WhatsApp, Facebook, Telegram and post in the group.”

In conclusion:

What Social Medias Do Well
When considering, “what are social medias used for,” keep in mind that they can be in use for many things, whether good or bad. Many of the aforementioned ways that they can be used are beneficial to companies, businesses, and individuals. They can also do much more.

  1. They can improve the customer images of the business.
  2. They can help a business to get feedback on new products and services.
  3. They can help connect friends, family and long lost college friends.
  4. Social networks allow for idea sharing and the creating dialog.
  5. Social networking allows people to network with others in order to find jobs.

Online social networks platforms are beneficial in many ways. They remove many of the complexities of the offline world. In addition, they are often a very fun pastime.



  1. Of course Facebook is the most used platform here in Ug and i think WhatsApp follows. However I wanted to know how many Ugandans are subscribed to those two platforms.
    How about other platforms like Telegram, YouTube, Pinterest…! Are Ugandans really using these platforms as well..if yes then how.

    Anyway it’s a nice article little bro..
    Keep it up..

  2. Thanks Nathan Ernest Olupot for this article, I have totally loved it…it’s good.
    I also think that Ugandans, most especially those in the business sector as using social media to share their opinions. For instance, WhatsApp, a company can create WhatsApp groups for their clients, customers, share holders where they can interact in a much more faster way than emails can do.

    Today most companies have WhatsApp chats, in case you’ve a problem you want to solve asap, instead of calling a congested customer service call, you would probably just send a WhatsApp messenger. Thus organizations are now starting to adopt to this feature.

    Thanks for the article Nathan.

  3. Thanks Nathan for this, it is good.

    The time I got to know that we [Ugandans] really love social media is when UCC blocked us for 3 days during the presidential elections and the time the president was swearing in.

    Some of us can’t do without social media.

    Nice one Nathan

  4. With social media today, we communicate to more than a billion people in this world. With the use of social media, anything can be possible.

    Ugandans are using social media as a way of getting famous, i guess you have heard of “saga” where people are sharing their n**e pixs just to get attention. We very well know whatsapp is really good at this, n**e pixs flooding all over everyone’s whatsapp, all you have to do is to share and share and share and share …….like a zillion times.

  5. Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 article, indeed Ugandans can’t do without social media, at least a bigger percentage of them can’t.
    Not only in Uganda but i think this applies every where, people are so addicted to social media, just like me.

    I love Instagram….Mwaaaaaaaaaaaaah

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