Here is what we gathering for the future of social media. An advert on social media that can reach possibly 3000 plus people in Ghana, will just reach under 500 people in a western country, meaning we in Africa have to pay more to reach the same number abroad as we do here.
Initially one will assumed this is just a way of charging more when advertising abroad. But with a few more tests we realized that it’s not, because it’s cheaper for Western countries to promote to the same audience number here than it is for them to their own audience. At which point one will assumed it could be a value of market, until we learnt otherwise. It is cheaper for the west to advertise in Africa, or should I say Ghana, than it is for a Ghanaians to advertise in Ghana. Meaning for the same money we pay, we will reach less people in our country than a Westerner.
So here is what it means. Presuming that social media takes over our lives and businesses more than it already has and it holds a monopoly over our business in Africa to the point where almost every purchase and advert is online related, we can expect a future where we are totally bombarded and run by western businesses as African owned are strangled by social media from any opportunities to grow.
Take instagram for example, it has launched instagram tagging products that will allow you to connect your pictures to sales products on a website so people can buy it right away, however this service is banned from Africa. Take paypal as another example, despite the business it can make in Africa it has banned South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria and other prominent countries from being able to use it. And the African countries it is in are less sophisticated to make much business out of it.
Take google also as an example, with its new of Google Ghana, Nigeria etc, what we have learnt is that it is easy for western websites with product, services and news to appear in timelines of African countries in popular searches, but a very limited and restricted result for ours to appear in theirs. ie an international popular artist like Wizkid should bare lots of results on US google on searches like music, singers, etc, due to the large number of clicks and views he gets. But as most of the large number of his feed and clicks may be executed on google Nigeria, his popularity will not be registered as such on the international google page for USA. Meaning he will not become a regular entity on westerners when they search items like music, or pop stars, etc. Where as in the other hand, google Ghana, Nigeria etc will feed us the results of a Justin Bieber or an American celebrity before they are popular or appreciated in Ghana or Nigeria.
There are only a few people that are social media experts, based in Africa, and fully indulged in fashion like myself so such an insight will be rare. Although some points can be argued to be fairly opinionated or justified for reasons not included, the mentioned entities still give room for this which shouldn’t surprise us. Does it surprise us why a smart fast growing country like China bans Western social media and only applies it’s own? And does it surprise us why the west make so many videos trying to undermine and make a horror movie out of China’s social media independence like the one below? There are thousands of videos trying to undermine China’s social media ban and only using it’s own, but the average salary has multiplied over 10 times since.
Despite these scare tactics, life in China is much better than Africa for sure. And this may be just what Africa needs to do protect it’s business livelihood. Some might say but some Africans living abroad are taking advantage of these differences so it’s not doom and gloom. Which is true, many Africans in the west have managed to apply instagram product tagging and are making a killing of sales of print clothes. Many sites at the end results of some African searches on google are owned by Africans in the west, and so forth. But even if this opportunity is opened to Africans in the West, it still doesn’t change the reality that, these online business and networking platforms are creating a scenario where life will continue to be difficult in Africa and one will need to live abroad in order to manifest their true talents.
FashionGHANA.com has faced and experienced some of these attacks. For one we were removed of etsy after a soaring record of sales, facebook currently has reduced our feed and which of our followers see our items on our 1 million followed facebook page that we acquired with no adverts, although that is something relatively recent to most pages what is even more surprising is our followers is reducing in 100s. Google drastically reduced our google payments to 1/3 our income in the space of 2 days and it’s remain that way since.