Social Media in Afghanistan – Users and Engagement

Cover: Social Media in AfghanistanAccess to and use of internet in Afghanistan has grown in the past decade to reach approximately 12% of the population. Social media penetration has followed the same course, challenging traditional media platforms and providing new platforms for public discourse. Social media carries the expectations of propagating change in Afghanistan through open expression, but the reality of its usage provides a need for a more nuanced assessment of its impact on Afghan society.

In June 2017, Altai Consulting was mandated by Internews to conduct a study on social media (read an overview) in Afghanistan. The research was borne out of the gap between what was known of social media usage and spread in Afghanistan, and expectations of social media platforms to propagate change through open expression.

Section I of the report presents a 360° view of the various social media users, from private users making an individual use of social media, to public users who use social media to disseminate messages on their public position.

Section II of the report provides detailed information on engagement, by explaining what is found online and which content triggers reactions.

Section III delves into the categories of usage of social media, from those users limiting their activity to private communications to those using social media to mobilize for a cause.