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Facebook Research Unveils Tips For Nigerian Businesses To Plan and Adapt During Ramadan

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The social media giant, Facebook, has offered six ways for Nigerian brands and businesses to plan and adapt during Ramadan 2021 to mitigate the negative effect of COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the way people live, connect, shop and discover. This was more evident during Ramadan, a period of introspection and celebration for nearly 2 billion people.

During Ramadan, people want to come together, whether virtually or socially distanced, to share the joy with loved ones. Despite inevitable differences to recent years, we will see the emergence of new discovery and shopping behaviours.

To better understand the behaviours of people who observe Ramadan and who shop for this season, Facebook IQ, Facebook’s insights and research division, in partnership with YouGov, a global public opinion and data company, has unveiled findings of a study conducted during Ramadan 2020, with over 17,000 respondents across eleven countries including Nigeria.

Approximately 1,500 interviews were completed with samples that were representative of the adult online population across age, gender and region in each market. The research explored a range of areas, including people’s purchasing and media habits, the impact of COVID-19, the role of influencer content and how communities give back.

The research highlights the booming e-commerce industry is significantly driving the digital economy in Nigeria. Here are six tips forNigerianbrands and businesses to effectively adapt and plan this Ramadan:

Discover new ways to support businesses

The theme of giving back is deeply rooted in Ramadan. People are increasingly giving back with time and money – and this extends to local businesses too. 90% agree that brands should find ways of giving back during Ramadan. As people personally contribute to their communities, they increasingly expect the same of businesses. They want brands to express their values, speak authentically and stand up for causes they care about. In fact, the research also shows that 77% of survey respondentsin Nigeriabecame more interested in a brand after learning about their business practices. That is why brands must raise awareness of their support for local businesses and the community during the pandemic in a clear and simple way.

Discover mobile audiences

During Ramadan, people look to technology, especially mobile, to stay up-to-date and connect with family and friends. They also use mobile to shop and stay entertained. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, mobile has become the constant companion driving additional time spent on the small screen. The research shows that 52% of survey respondents in Nigeria spend more time using their mobile during the season. This means that more people are now using mobile across discovery, research and purchase compared to going in store. Knowing this, brands must leverage the rise in mobile entertainment and resources to reach the right audience where they are adapting to how and where they like to discover new things.

Discover partnerships

Creators offer a new source of credibility. Amongst the Ramadan observing and shopping community surveyed in Nigeria, 58% agreed that public figures and celebrities influence their purchasing decisions. They look to public figures for self-improvement content as well as deals, especially when it comes to discovering and purchasing new products and services. Brands must therefore engage with partners and creators to help reach new audiences in an authentic way and should explore collaborating with creators who can inspire, generate deals and announce trends.

Discover new demand

The demand from shoppers to browse and shop safely online is greater than ever as they spend less time shopping in physical stores. According to the research, 67% of survey respondentsin Nigeria spent more time shopping online during the Ramadan and Eid season because of COVID-19. On average, shoppers in Nigeria are 3x more likely to feel safer using mobile to shop, compared to in store. This year, brands must understand their audience’s needs and safety concerns when shopping online and on mobile, offering cross-border shoppers a frictionless experience throughout the entire purchase journey, both safely and conveniently.

Discover new opportunities

Ramadan is one of the biggest shopping moments of the year, yet most advertisers switch off spending during this time, based on the misapprehension that most people finish their Ramadan shopping early. People, however, are continually preparing their homes, meals and gifts for loved ones and are looking out for the best deals before and during the season. While 28% of the respondents in Nigeria started planning by March last year, about a month before celebrations started, only 18% had completed their shopping when Ramadan actually started. The research also indicates that the periods just before Ramadan and Eid are the biggest shopping periods. Brands must plan ahead to stay relevant and prepared for these shopping peaks, reminding people of what they love by tapping into their preferences.

Discover bargain hunters

As the impact of COVID-19 is felt locally, shoppers are increasingly price-sensitive and look to Facebook for deals and inspiration. 68% of the respondents in Nigeria look to discover more bargains during Ramadan and Eid. This price sensitivity applies to essentials like food and beverages, as well as to clothing and gift items, making mega sales all the more important during Ramadan. The research also indicates that in Nigeria, 67% of the respondents said they use Facebook platforms for inspiration, research and to discover new shopping ideas.

You can also take a closer look at the FBIQ Ramadan Interactive Report explore, compare and filter the findings to inform your Ramadan planning, understand audience expectations and forge more meaningful connections.

Through Facebook’s partnership with Getty Images, brands and marketers can also access the Yalla Ramadan stock image library to adapt their Ramadan campaigns and find visual inspiration.

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YouTube To Generate Over $280 Million From US Premium Subscribers In 2021

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YouTube Premium is starting to generate sustainable revenues from its paid ad-free subscription services. It took more than six years since relaunch to see significant growth. 

A recent report projects that with an estimated 23.6 million unique users by the end of 2021, revenues are expected to climb to $282.96 million in the US alone, representing an impressive +18% Year-Over-Year (YoY) growth.

Premium subscriptions are projected to top 25 million unique users by the end of next year, exceeding $300 million in revenues. By the end of 2024, totalling $334.52 million with nearly 28 million sign-ups. The projected revenues are expected to keep a steady growth after 2023.

Video streaming services are gaining popularity, growth accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic

In addition to promising growth in the US, YouTube Premium services reached 50 million subscribers globally since September, beating an important milestone. YouTube Premium’s recent success can be attributed to both Covid-related, as well as non-Covid-related factors.

The global video streaming market is expected to expand at a 21% growth rate between 2021 and 2028 – highly driven by the increase in smartphone and internet usage. Live-streaming, music streaming, the adoption of cloud-based solutions could all be contributing factors.

The HelpCenter app’s co-founder Ernestas Petkevicius commented on the continuous growth of YouTube Premium:

“YouTube is playing in its own category. I do not see any competition for user-generated content which is now the main driver of tutoring, know-how, and news/comments. YouTube has lots of quality content and an army of creators who rely on the platform as their main source of income. Music services and ad-free mode are only an extra catalyst for revenue growth. YouTube has no competitors when it comes to these services, therefore, the revenue numbers potentially could be much bigger.”

In terms of market shares, 39% of the video streaming market is found to be driven by the US and Canada, which would explain the US-driven revenue growth of 18% Year-over-Year (YoY). What is more, subscription-model accounted for 43% revenue share of the total video streaming services in 2020.

Music streaming is another possible factor for revenue growth from premium sign-ups. Music streaming market in isolation is expected to reach a good 9.8% growth between 2021 and 2027.

And even though video streaming was popular prior to the pandemic, the extreme acceleration in growth has been due to the COVID-19 crisis. As many countries declared nationwide lockdowns, people stayed home more, thus increasing the use of digital services like social media, as well as online video streaming. Consumer engagement on social media video sharing platforms like YouTube grew significantly.

Whether this growth is driven by the all-encompassing features (ad-free videos, YouTube TV, music streaming for $11.99), changes in the consumer behavior, or technological advancements, revenues from YouTube Premium subscriptions in the US are expected to keep growing at a steady rate.

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Facebook, Big Cabal Media, and Comic Republic Launch #NoFalseNewsZone Campaign to Minimise the Spread of False News in Nigeria

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Facebook,  Big Cabal Media, and Comic Republic, has announced the launch of #NoFalseNewsZone, an educational campaign focused on helping people identify false news and educate them on the actions to take to help minimise its spread in Nigeria.

“At Facebook, we are committed to the wellbeing of the individuals and communities that use our platforms, and are invested in, and take responsibility in minimising the spread of false news,” Oluwasola Obagbemi, Facebook’s Corporate Communications Manager for Anglophone West Africa said, while commenting on the launch of the campaign. “We are super excited to be working with Big Cabal Media and Comic Republic to launch #NoFalseNewsZone in Nigeria,” Obagbemi added.

As part of the campaign, Big Cabal Media and Comic Republic have also joined the conversation to sensitize Nigerians on how to identify and report false news online beyond a conceptual level.

Speaking on the collaboration, Big Cabal Media CEO, Tomiwa Aladekomo said, “The world is increasingly relying on sourcing for information from digital news outlets and social media platforms. The consequences of false news are glaring and especially painful to those who fall victim. Big Cabal Media is passionate about connecting people to accurate news sources and is excited to work with Facebook on its #NoFalseNewsZone campaign.”

Comic Republic CEO, Jide Martin also said, “As more people spend time on their screens, consuming news and information on social media, service providers must become more socially responsible in order to combat misinformation on their platforms as effectively as possible. I am pleased to be working with Facebook, a company that has taken the bold step to use the longest and most relevant art form to tell the story of misinformation to drive the desired attitudinal change. Comic Republic has since used comics to shine the light on issues like social injustice, online security, and domestic violence. We are pleased to be collaborating on art for a good cause and we can’t wait to show you what we are working on.”

Facebook has also commenced the 2021 edition of its ‘safe online forum’ in Nigeria, bringing teachers, parents, and other important education stakeholders together to discuss ways of promoting and ensuring online safety and digital literacy for young people. Feedback received from the forum will be used to design future safety-related programs.

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Amicable Solution In Sight For Twitter Suspension – FG

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Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said that issues surrounding the suspension of the operations of the micro-blogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria will be resolved soon.

The Federal Government had in June, suspended indefinitely, the operations of Twitter in Nigeria, citing persistent use of the platform for activities capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.

Mohammed while fielding questions from State House correspondents on Wednesday after the virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja said, “I want to say that the end for an amicable solution is very much in sight; we quite appreciate the anxiety of Nigerians who have been worried that, two months after the suspension, we have not been able to finalise talks.

“But I just want to assure you that we have made tremendous progress and when I say tremendous, I mean tremendous.

“We have engaged Twitter both in writing; we have engaged Twitter; we set up a technical committee to engage Twitter; they set up their own committee too.

“They have met virtually and they have exchanged correspondence about three times; and really, apart from dotting the ‘I’s and crossing the ‘ts’ we are actually almost there, almost there.’’

He said that engagements with Twitter had been positive and devoid of any acrimony.

According to him, Twitter admitted that it had never received any kind of informed or detailed or professional communication from any country as they received in Nigeria.

The minister said that Twitter promised that it was going to look into the issues while Nigeria made very clear what it wanted from Twitter.

“Even though our report is not ready; even though we are expecting more clarifications around some conversations with Twitter; I think I can share with you that some of our conditions for Twitter operations to resume in Nigeria.

“And I’m glad that both the Minister of Works, who is a member of the Ministerial Team and Tolu, who is a member of the technical team are here.

“If I am wrong they will correct me; I know that one of clarification that we set is that Twitter must first, in line with the Companies and Allied Matters Act, establish legal presence in Nigeria, with the registration of Nigerian office with the Corporate Affairs Commission.

“We think this is only fair that if you want to do business in Nigeria, you must first register as a Nigerian company, and of course if you want to register, you must have an address. That is one of the conditions we gave Twitter; we also asked that Twitter shall be mandated to employ a designated country representative.

“As of today, we are not aware of any Twitter representative in Nigeria; we say that representative shall be a staff of Twitter, but must be one that has access to the global management of Twitter so that he can serve as a liaison between Nigeria and Twitter.’’

The minister said that the country representative should also have a physical office address in Nigeria with its head office in Abuja and could also have, offices outside the capital if he wanted.

He said that Twitter, in addition to registering in Nigeria, must also register with relevant regulatory authorities like National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

“Fourthly, we asked that Twitter would be mandated to retain a designated local agent to manage its engagement with the government on its operations in Nigeria.

“We also asked that Twitter should commit itself to work with the FIRS on its tax liability because we believe that if you make money in Nigeria, the law says that you must pay taxes according to Nigerian laws.

“Of course, we also asked that they should immediately also start paying VAT and other tax liabilities of any company resident in Nigeria.

“We propose to Twitter that we should agree on a Charter on Online Conduct for content management; this charter will guide both of us. We will agree on what content will be acceptable and which content will not be acceptable.’’

Mohammed said that the Ministerial Team was concerned about contents that would be liable to jeopardise Nigeria’s security, unity and sovereignty.

He said that the team also asked for an agreement on what amounted to prohibited publication and when such was cited and brought to the attention of Twitter, it would delete or remove such publication.

“We also proposed an ombudsman between both Twitter and Nigeria, and it is this ombudsman to whom we can report harmful accounts or suspected troll and then he will act accordingly.

“Finally, we asked that Twitter should immediately establish a local compliance and grievance redress mechanism to be domiciled in Nigeria and to be staffed by persons who understand local content and our culture,’’ he said.

According to him, Twitter has responded, but there are still areas that both parties have yet to agree on.

He said that he was hopeful that Twitter would comply with all the demands, adding that the platform was considering having an office in Nigeria by 2022.

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