With over 27 million social media users, Nigerians are among the most active group on social media platforms globally.
Over the course of this year, several trends have dominated Nigeria’s social media space. From Twitter to Facebook and Instagram, unified campaigns have been organised, controversial topics debated and fun challenges have been initiated, many of them leading to “drags” and banters.
In this article, we take you through the top 10 social media trends of 2020 in Nigeria.
At the very top of our list is the widespread #EndSARS campaign against police brutality in Nigeria.
In what reflected the vexation among tech-savvy Nigerian youth at being harassed, intimidated and extorted by SARS officers, the movement restarted in October just a few days after Nigeria’s Independence day celebration.
The #EndSARS campaign transcended Nigeria, with protests organised in many other countries including the United States, United Kingdom and France. The campaign involved celebrities, tech leaders, human rights activists, lawyers, doctors, among others.
Fuelled by social media, the #EndSARS hashtag trended at No 1 worldwide after amassing about 5 million tweets within three days and was sustained using a number of digital strategies.
Key drivers of the #EndSARS protests included Douglas Jack (Runtown), Rinu Oduala, Debo Adebayo (Mr macaroni), Folarin Falana (Falz), Feminist Coalition, Anonymous, Flutterwave and Arise TV.
The movement led to the disbandment of rogue police unit, SARS but effectively lost momentum following the #LekkiMassacre.
2020 will go down as a year plagued by the global outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Even before the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Nigeria on February 27, Nigerians had been having conversations across social media about the viral disease which would result in the deaths of over 1.7 million people worldwide.
Disrupting business, pleasure and worship all over Nigeria, #COVID-19 remained a top trending topic on social media platforms. Lockdowns were imposed in the FCT as well as in Lagos and Ogun states as measures such as hand washing/sanitisation, social distancing and isolation, and mask-wearing were introduced to curb the spread of the virus.
Up to a million Nigerians began following the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Twitter handle to get the latest updates on infections per state and lockdown measures. Also, Zoom became the go-to option for many people and businesses to stay connected during that time.
Nigeria’s biggest Reality TV show, Big Brother Naija held its lockdown edition for its fifth season this year. The Twitter trendlist almost always featured a #BBNaija hashtag throughout the duration of the show, with many tweets offering comic relief.
July’s most searched topic, BBNaija had gathered over 900 million votes across all voting platforms by the time it ended in September. The show was won by the early favourite, Olamilekan Agbeleshe, popularly known as Laycon.
#BBNaija: OPPO, Flutterwave and Other Tech Companies that Played a Part in BBNaija Lockdown
“I am not a man of preacher of love. I am a war. I am a fight. I am Indaboski Bahose.” These were the words of Pastor Chukwuemeka Odumeje of the Mountain of Holy Ghost Intervention and Deliverance Ministry.
The “Liquid Metal” became an internet sensation during the COVID-19 lockdown period after rather amusing video clips of him made the rounds across social media.
The #BlackLivesMatter movement restarted in May after a white Minneapolis policeman choked an African American, George Floyd to death. This followed Mr Floyd’s arrest for allegedly using a fake $20 bill.
Nigerians joined the global #BlackLivesMatter campaign via social media and physical protests in the fight against racial profiling and inequality faced by black people worldwide.
Started by Nigerian comedian Josh Alfred “Josh2Funny”, the #DontLeaveMe challenge took social media by storm in June, with people outside Nigeria later joining in.
Basically a wordplay challenge, #DontLeaveMe went viral, especially on Tiktok and Twitter.
In May, several Nigerians took part in the #DontRushChallenge. The challenge involved a group of friends merging glow up videos of themselves using transitions with “Don’t Rush” by Young T & Bugsey featuring Headie Onewith playing in the background.
#DontRushChallenge started on Tiktok, then made its way to Twitter as more people jumped on the bandwagon.
The #SayNotoRape campaign was triggered following the inhumane rape-murder of 22-year old UNIBEN student, Vera Omozua in a church, as well as rape allegations levelled against male celebs including Peruzzi and DBanj.
Tizeti CEO, Kendall Ananyi was also accused of sexual harassment by tech entrepreneur Kelechi Udoagwu in what was one of the major scandals that rocked the techspace in 2020.
Such is the massive interest in Bitcoin that Nigeria is now the flagship crypto’s second-largest market on P2P exchange Paxful. #Bitcoin almost always showed up every other day on Twitter’s trend list, with Nigerians reacting to the Twitter Bitcoin hack, price trajectory, regulations, among others.
Nigeria led Africa in P2P Bitcoin trading in 2020, posting monthly volumes of up to $25.8 million, followed by South Africa’s $8.2 million and Kenya’s $7.7 million.
Nigerian artiste Damini Ogulu “Burna Boy” trended on social media platforms for a number of different reasons in 2020.
From releasing grammy-nominated and Spotify’s most-streamed Nigerian album “Twice As Tall” to threatening to leave Twitter and allegedly cheating on girlfriend Steflon Don, Burna Boy has been on the receiving end of drags and adulation across social media.
There you have it, our top 10 social media trends of 2020 in Nigeria. Do you think we left out any major trend? Then let us know in the comment section.
Enjoy your holidays!
Get the best of Africa’s daily tech to your inbox – first thing every morning.
Join the community now!