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Opera releases 'State of the Mobile Web Report' for Africa

Opera has released its State of Mobile Web 2019, giving a detailed insight into the African digital landscape.
Key findings from the report include:
  • Nine out of ten people in South Africa use their mobile browser every day
  • Internet users in Africa use their browser to access social media domains such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, followed by entertainment and search websites
  • Opera News users in Africa spend 50% of in-app time watching videos
  • South Africans pay six times more per gigabyte of mobile data than people in India
  • Opera Mini saved users nearly US$100 million in mobile data in 2018

The report reveals that the Opera mobile browsers and standalone news app were used by nearly 20 million internet users in Africa and by more than 350 million people globally in the first quarter of 2019. The State of Mobile Web 2019 report also shows that Opera experienced a growth of more than 26% of its user base year on year, compared to the first quarter of 2018 in Africa.

“We are thrilled to see that our mobile browsers and news app have grown by 25 million monthly users in the last year”, said Jørgen Arnesen, head of marketing and distribution at Opera. “The new Opera News app has led this positive growth, as well as the introduction of new features to our mobile browsers like built-in VPN and crypto wallet. The successful partnerships Opera has with major smartphone manufacturers in Africa have also contributed to this massive growth”.

The 2019 edition of the State of the Mobile Web Report looked into the use of the Opera Mini browser and the Opera browser for Android, and it shows that mobile browsing is one of the most popular online activities among African internet users. For example, in South Africa, nine out of ten people use their mobile browser every day, an activity they prefer over the use of other applications like YouTube.

The report also revealed that on average, Africans using Opera spend more than 30 minutes browsing online each day. The most browsed category of websites was social media platform domains such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, followed by search engines like Google, and entertainment and sports websites.

Million of dollars saved on mobile data


In the report, Opera gives detailed insight into the use of the data savings feature in the Opera Mini browser and compares the average price of mobile data in 20 countries in Africa. The results revealed that the data compression mode in Opera Mini saved users nearly US$100m worth of data in 2018.

In this analysis, Opera also compared the costs of data in some African countries with the cost of mobile data in India and Germany. The outcome of this analysis showed that South Africans pay six times more per gigabyte of mobile data than Indians and almost the same price as Germans for one gigabyte of mobile data.

Rapidly changing news and video consumption landscape


The report takes a look at the trends of news and video consumption across Africa. This includes analysing the usage of its standalone Opera News app, which grew from launch to over 20 million users in a period of one year. Categories like breaking news, local news, and entertainment were the favourites among users in the first quarter of the year.

Video content is also becoming more popular among people who use the Opera News app. The report shows that people spend 50% of in-app time in Opera News watching videos on Instaclips, the recently added video feature on the news app.

The usage of Instaclips keeps growing since its test launch in December 2018: in Q1-2019, Instaclips registered a total of 122,000 videos uploaded in different languages such as English, Portuguese, French, Arabic and Swahili.

Expanding beyond browsing to fuel digital transformation


Opera’s commitment to digital transformation in Africa is ongoing. Beyond the development of its mobile browsers and standalone news app, Opera has made major investments on the African continent, expanding its services to other technology areas such as FinTech and digital advertising.

In 2018, Opera announced the launch of OKash, a fintech micro-lending solution that quickly gained traction among mobile internet users in Kenya. Today, OKash ranks among the most downloaded micro lending applications among Kenyans and its user base keeps on growing.

In May 2019, Opera announced the introduction of Opera Ads, a new advertising platform that allows media agencies and publishers to run more targeted marketing campaigns through the Opera platforms.

Download the full version of State of Mobile Web 2019 Report (PDF File: 1.47MB)
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