Africa’s Top Twits – May 2012 edition

Posted on May 12, 2012

I have finally got around to updating my list of Africa’s top twits (or top twitter users as some prefer). The page with the current and previous information can be found here : TopTwits. As before, the information is presented in both PDF and Excel formats. Download the one most suitable for you.

There are some significant changes that have happened in the last 8 months. The growth in users outside of South Africa has been nothing short of phenomenal. It seems us in SA have much to learn from the rest of Africa, Egypt in particular, around the potential use of Twitter.

To make analysis a little easier I have provided some comparative information from the last run I did (which is some 8 months ago). You can now see the previous rank, the number of followers back then, absolute growth and % growth. I am pasting the top 50 here, and will do some more analysis of my own and come back with further commentary at a later stage. Without those growth figures, don’t read too much into the numbers below. For example, DJ Fresh shows a drop of 10 places in the rank, but actually has grown  significantly from 114 000 followers to 205 000, an 80% growth over that period. Gareth Cliff has fallen from 5 to 16, but has taken on 107 000 new followers in the period (64% growth) to reach a total of 275 000 followers. Trevor Noah has dropped from 7 to 9, but grown a phenomenal 154% to reach 365 000 followers.

Growth in the top 10 has some phenomenal rates, at least 6 of these top 10 are Egyptian. These have growth rates of between 108% up to 368%.‘s account (the 368%) has grown from 117 000 followers to 550 000 in this 8 months period. Pretty amazing.

Our previous top South African, fellow Durbanite @brat13 has fallen from 2nd spot down to 12th, but has in that same time taken on 100 000 additional followers, a 42% growth, to reach 345 000, awesome for a “Engineer, motorsport fan, occasional cyclist, photographer, blogger, Durbanite!”

As always, errors, omissions and suggestions will be taken on board for future updates. All discussion welcome.

Don’t forget, the full excel and PDF versions are available for download on the  TopTwits page.

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The new improved (South) African Top Twits July 2011

Posted on July 26, 2011

See the final list here :

Yesterday’s post (here) attempted to list the Top Twits (by number of followers) in (South) Africa.  If you didn’t read the post yesterday, take a read to see where this all started.  It had some flaws. There were some big names missing. After some manual processing and prompting for various parties, here is the new improved (still very much draft) (South) African Top Twits.  The top 10 has changed a bit, and beyond that even more so. To make yesterday’s top 50 you needed 13 251 followers, today that has jumped to 22 613.

Once again, if there are some big names out there that have been missed please let me know.

Change log :

  • Removed duplicated @BusRep, @BibleThoughts now makes it in at number 50 (26/7/2011)
  • Added in some more users @Elbaradei, Jacob Zuma (SAPresident), Presidency, MetroFM (27/7/2011)
  • Expanded the list to top 60 (so that some didn’t drop out of yesterday’s list)
  • Included the date updated field
  • Checked the numbers of all the accounts listed against current numbers as previous sources were unreliable. Checked the balance of the top 120 as well just in case any jumped up the list, some of which did.
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Will South Africa’s real Top Twits please stand up

Posted on July 25, 2011

Update : See the final list here : (updated monthly)

The Strategy Worx recently released their ‘Social Media in SA – The Numbers‘ Report for Quarter two. Makes some interesting reading. There is some discussion on Google Plus here.

In the report is a list of  the Top 20 South African twitter personalities. The list was interesting, but on reflection seemed to be missing some of the people who I would have expected to be in the report.  There appear to be some obvious missing ones eg. DJ Fresh 98 656 followers and Pigspotter (Cliff) with 61 000 Jack Parrow 22 281 Steven Pienaar (ok, he lives in the UK most of the time) 67 480 John Robbie 23 377, Bryan Habana 46 270 etc etc

I quickly posted a question on the discussion asking what was the selection criteria for this? After going back and reading the report more closely I found the reference :

Going onto Twitaholic and playing a little gave some insight into the problem. The query used only picks you up if you list South Africa (Country), not City, Country (Eg. Durban South Africa).

This is very clear, Bruce Attridge in Durban, South Africa has 213 000 followers and is top of the Durban list, but doesn’t come up (would be 1st) in the South Africa query. Problem. Playing a bit more and you find that Durban, Durban South Africa and South Africa all produce different lists.

To top it all off, looking at the follower numbers shows some more problems. I am listed way down on the list (not that I have that many followers), but the numbers were vastly different from what Twitter shows as my followers. It seems the list is quite dated. If you click on a user, there is a button to “Update my Stats!” which can be used once a day. A manual process – though some numbers are more recent than others. Ok, so the data is flawed.

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