Social networking has become the trade mark of the 21st Century. With the introduction of smart phones and internet enabled mobile phones in Kenya, people can access the internet from any location and not necessarily in cyber cafes. Most of the mobile phone service providers in Kenya, such as Safaricom, Airtel, Orange Kenya and Yu provide internet services to Kenyans at a small and affordable fee. You can buy from as little as 5 megabytes of data for KSH 5 to as much as 25 gigabytes for KSH 11,499 in Kenya, all depending on your data usage.
Kenyans have not been bypassed by the social networking surge in the world. Kenyans too have joined most of the available social sites for interaction in Kenya. Kenyans are now utilizing the social network to get jobs in Kenya or abroad. There are also many dating sites in Kenya over the internet such as the most popular Cupid website in Kenya. This article, however, does not focus on dating sites in Kenya. Kenyans are learning to utilize the social sites to get positive feedback such as jobs, dates, professional role models, business ideas and many other benefits which internet in Kenya has brought. Some of the most popular social sites in Kenya that have contributed to social network and benefited Kenya are:
Facebook: Facebook is by far the most popular social site in Kenya. Facebook site was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004. Its name comes from the colloquial book given to freshmen in most American colleges so as to help them know each other. Facebook site was initially restricted to students in Havard University but has over timed opened up to anyone all over the world who claims to be at least 13 years of age. Facebook in Kenya allows Kenyans to interact among themselves and with the outside world. Kenyans are also connected through Facebook to jobs available in Kenya or in other countries or even other continents. Through facebook pages such as Pata Job, Truckjobs.com, Jobs in NGOs and many others on Facebook, Kenyans are able to get information on jobs recently listed and to apply for the posts. Major media figures such as Caroline Mutuko also advise people about jobs and post possible vacancies in Kenya on facebook. Facebook is accessed via www.facebook.com
Google+: Google+ is a social networking service in Kenya run by Google Company and was launched in 2011. Google + is the second largest social networking site worldwide and follows closely after Facebook. Google + has over 540 million active users per month. Again Google+ has over 1.5 billion photos uploaded every week. You have to have a Gmail account in Kenya to register on Google+. Kenyans have also benefited from Google+ through gaining exposure to the lives of others in the world and acquiring new business ideas that are a niche in our own country. Twitter; Twitter is yet another social site available to Kenyans. Twitter enables users in Kenya to send and read messages limited to 140 characters, and referred to as “tweets”. Twitter was created in March 2006, and launched in July 2006. Unlike Facebook in Kenya whereby a user is searched by his username, twitter uses a twitter handle that begins with the sign “@”. @smith for instance could be a twitter handle belonging to someone named Smith. Twitter is a social network tool in Kenya where most organizations, companies, television stations, radio stations among other in Kenya are using to advertise and reach the public in Kenya and in the diaspora. Thorough interaction with the public, these organizations in Kenya are able to get feedback on places to improve on their products and services in Kenya.
LinkedIn; This is more of a professional networking site which Kenyans can use. LinkedIn was set up in 2003 for the people who are in professional occupations and is mainly used for professional networking. LinkedIn is available in over 20 languages including German, French, Italian, Spanish and Japanese. Statistics show that the LinkedIn site has over 179 million registered users worldwide. In Kenya, people are utilizing LinkedIn, due to the connection to professionals in particular fields, to get jobs in Kenya or abroad. Use of social networks to get jobs in Kenya is not a new thing and LinkedIn is ranked at the forefront in connecting people with jobs and with people in the same professional field. Kenyans can get jobs advertisements on LinkedIn on www.linkedin.com/job Pinterest: Pinterest is a photo sharing social site where users are allowed to share pictures by pinning them on a board. The users of pinterest in Kenya can then browse for images from other pin boards from people in Kenya and beyond. Pinterest, however, does not have as much following in Kenya as the other above named social sites. Kenyans in different fields ranging from fashion, arts and designs, and others can use Pinterest as a platform for advertising their products in Kenya through posting photos and giving directions on the places to get the products in Kenya. Kenyans can also get new ideas about fashion or any other field of interest and use those ideas to further their productivity and gain more buyers for their products and services in Kenya. Pinterest website is www.pinterest.com