By Prince Osuagwu, Hi-Tech Editor
100 days after Nigeria banned Twitter in the country, the microblogging platform has lost about 23.44 per cent out of its 25.52 per cent market share before the ban.This is as other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram gain massively from Twitter’s losses.According to Statcounter, a global social media statistics platform, as of May 2021, Twitter had a market share of 25.52 per cent in Nigeria, but this has drastically reduced to 2.8 percent as at August 2021.
However, in a sharp contrast, Facebook’s 56.46 per cent as at May has suddenly jumped to 76.87 per cent, while Instagram’s 5.25 per cent is now 11.47 per cent.The growth shows massive movement over Twitter users into other social media platforms to perform activities they ought to have done on twitter.
However, prominent Nigerians still urge the federal government to review its actions as the country still shares on whatever losses twitter incur.
Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative of Nigeria, PIN Gbenga Sesan, said after reviewing the reality on ground Nigeria should not gloat of twitter’s loss of market share.
According to Sesan, Twitter did not only lose market share but advert revenues and other benefits its huge numbers in Nigeria gave it.
But, the growth of the micro-blogging platform in the country means that many people are benefitting and such benefits would ultimately rub off positively on the economy.
For him, top politicians are still tweeting, routing their accounts through the Virtual Private Network,VPN where the benefits will not accrue to the country.
VPN is a remote server which bypasses the internet protocol to give access to various websites.
Using VPN for Twitter will first connect the user to a remote server, which changes the original IP address. That way, the user can bypass network restrictions and tweet in peace.
Meanwhile, social media influencers who use the medium to generate revenue are still groaning under the negative effects of the ban on their economy.
This is as Netblocks.org said since the ban, the country’s economy, has lost over N217 billion.
The platform said it relied on booking institution method which uses development indicators, approximated digital economy extent of 0.05 and classic free app GDP impact technique to arrive at its conclusion. Being an artificial intelligence, AI-based study, Netblocks is popular and its statistics are reliable.Meanwhile many Nigerians still want government to rescind the action and lift the ban on twitter. In a recent video, former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki had called on the Federal Government to review the ban in the interest of Nigerians.
He stated that government must always look at how its decisions affect young people.
He said: “When we talk about the Twitter ban, we must look at it from the point of view of how it affects the livelihood of young Nigerians.
Twitter is like a marketplace where people go to sell their products, goods and engage in business.”As a government, you have to ask yourself: ‘How does such a ban affect my people?’; ‘How does it affect the most important part of my population – the young people”? he added.
Saraki is not alone in the call that the decision should be reviewed.Governors Seyi Makinde of Oyo state, Babajide Sanwo Olu of Lagos, the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Paradigm Initiatives of Nigeria, PIN, and SERAP are among notable people and organizations that have condemned the ban.
The Federal Government on June 04, 2021 put a stop to the activities of the microblogging platform in Nigeria, asking all telecommunications networks and broadcast stations in the country to disconnect and disengage the services of twitter.
The ban which the Minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said was necessary because of the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence, has attracted hue and cry from prominent Nigerians who feel the action was an attack on free speech.
The action was taken after twitter deleted the tweet of President Muhammadu Buhari, citing its safety rule.