Media Evolution Not Revolution: The Rise Of Social TV In Kenya


The following is an excerpt from The Nendo Social Media Trends Report 2014-2015.

Television in Kenya has become a social activity. Texting, tweeting and calling friends are now the stand-out ways that people participate in watching television. The conversation is becoming interactive by day. Kenya has seen 2013 out with some highlights in social media driven television or social TV.

Kenyan reality dating show Tujuane stands out as having one of the most loyal and viral followings of any television series. This is not to say the traditional ratings for television media are in any way inaccurate, but in terms of Twitter engagement the show has brought a level of consistency and high velocity of updates and engagement that stands out.

The Age of the “Second Screen” is upon us in Kenya. We will no longer watch television without a second screen- a phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop – nearby. It will become a part of the experience. Looking at the various categories of potential social television shows for 2014, we see a possible breakdown as follows:

Contestant-based Shows

2013’s season of Tusker Project Fame, an East African reality-singing competition show, generated 43,736 tweets and made use of social media after (Kenyans on Twitter) #KOT continued the annual trend of discussing it online.

Reality TV Shows

Dating show Tujuane single-handedly featured in over 500,000 tweets in 2013. The show’s popularity among the valuable and digitally savvy Generation Y has seen it shift television stations from KTN to NTV in what is surely the station’s bid for a young, connected and in this case, captive audience. We describe this as the “Tujuane Syndrome.”

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