2021 has been a year worth recalling for Meta as the American-based conglomerate company rebranded its name from Facebook.
The company that owns famous social media platforms Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and Whatsapp has released the ‘2021 Year In Review’, an infographic that shows the top topics and trends on Facebook and Instagram in Kenya throughout the year.
The list ranges from the global to the local topics including most used Hashtags, most followed Kenyan Instagram accounts, top songs used on Instagram and Facebook and communities that have grown the most.
On Kenya’s top topics, Diani Beach emerged as the most searched. Diani Beach is one of the most remarkable stretches of white-sandy beaches lodged among green palms on the Indian Ocean in the Kenyan South Coast.
Diani has always been famous as a holiday destination for local and foreign tourists, thanks to its exquisite hotels and villas, perfect weather, thrilling beaches activities, game drives near the beach and easy accessibility as you can fly directly from Nairobi, Mombasa or Maasai Mara to Ukunda airstrip.
The second trending topic was the sweatpant, a unisex loose, warm trousers with an elasticated or drawstring waist, worn when exercising or as leisurewear.
With people currently working from home as a measure to curb the spread of Covid-19, they were most likely to be on light casual wear with sweatpants being the most predominant.
People searched for their prices and the stores they are sold in. Sunglasses and swimsuits were the third and fourth most trending topics respectively as people were looking for solutions for keeping up with the hot weather experienced for a greater part of the year.
Coming fifth was Westlands, Nairobi, which has gained popularity for its posh hotels, restaurants, shopping malls and hotels located on the captivating skyscrapers. Also, the Nairobi Expressway connecting Westlands to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport has made Westlands more popular.
The sixth top topic was the Maasai people, a Maa speaking Nilotic ethnic group occupying northern, central and southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. They are among the best known local populations internationally because of their residence near the many game parks of the African Great Lakes, and their distinctive customs and clothing.
Tanzanian Bongo star Diamond Platinumz was the only musician that made it on the list of the top trends. Diamond has released hit after hit this year including ‘Iyo’ featuring South African Amapiano artist Focalistic, ‘Naanzaj’ and ‘Waa’ hit song he did with Koffi Olomide late last year but trended more this year.
Also, the Wasafi boss has got himself involved in different scandals including the recent one with influencer Jaymo Ule Msee and Harmonize who came out to expose his former boss and what led to the termination of his contract with Wasafi records.
Samia Suluhu, the first woman president in East and Central Africa, also caught more attention of social media users after she took over the presidency of Tanzania after the death of John Pombe Magufuli in March.
The local and continent record of 9.77 seconds set by Ferdinand Omanyala on the 100-meter sprint race brought the topic of 100- metres as Kenyans wanted to know more about the race and the Kenyan sprinters in this race.
In the most used Hashtags, the #Gainwith prevailed as 2021’s top hashtag on Instagram. They say having an Instagram account is one thing; building your audience is another. Hashtags help you to expand your Instagram audience and get more reach.
When you use a Hashtag, your post appears on the page for that Hashtag. Instagram Hashtags can be a great way of building a community online so people are motivated to engage with your brand. Gainwithxtiandela was the most used Hashtag this year with over 18 million posts. The second most used was Gainwiththeepluto with over 15 million posts. Others were Gainwithmtaaraw and Gainwithmchina.
On the most followed Kenyan Instagram accounts list, it does not come as a surprise to many that the self-proclaimed president of comedy Africa Eric Omondi emerged as the most followed personality this year.
Despite more critics, Eric’s name has been in the limelight throughout the year through his famous show Wife Material, which drew mixed reactions to most people including the former Kenya Film Classification Board boss Ezekiel Mutua, who was against the show, terming it as of lewd content unsuitable to air on a public forum. Eric has maintained his loyal fanbase to date to a whopping 3.7 million this year.
Musician Tanasha Donna comes second following Eric closely with over 3.4 million followers. On the third position is gospel cum secular artist Bahati famously known as ‘Mtoto wa Mama’. The musician and businesswoman Akothee alias Madam Boss comes fourth in the list celebrated by her fans for her ‘you only live once’ character.
The journalist cum entrepreneur Betty Kyalo lies fifth in the list and closing the list is BBC Swahili.
On the top songs used on Instagram and Facebook stories, ‘Sipangwingwi’ by EX-ray, Ssaru and Trio Mio was the most used. This is also evident in the recent political scene where politicians are using the hit as a catchphrase.
The ‘Adhiambo’ song by Bahati and the Luo Ohangla artist Prince Indah comes second on the list. ‘Mbwe mbwe’ by Bien Aime of Sauti Sol and Aron Rimbui comes third with Sip(Alcohol) by Joeboy from Nigeria is the fourth most used song. Others are Thank You Baba, Days I Will Remember and Peru.