Mobile%20Pic %20Africa%203Two and a half years ago I posted an article looking at the state of digital media penetration in the 50 least reached (i.e. least Christian) countries in the world. Technology doesn't stand still so I've found the latest statistics on mobile, internet and Facebook penetration and updated that information.  In addition, I've found the official word on Google and Apple apps stores availability in these countries and added that into the mix.  Take the apps store availability with a grain of salt as some clever people find ways of gaining access in countries where it's not officially available while many others who live in countries where apps stores are officially available find themselves unable to use them, whether due to lack of internet access, not having a credit card, etc.

In the first article I shared that ministries considering digital opportunities to pursue in a particular country might want to ignore digital opportunities that had a penetration rate of less than five percent (and indicated those items with red background).  At the same time, I stated that they could consider items that had a penetration rate of 5-15 percent (and indicated items in that range with a yellow fill).  Part of my reasoning was that Facebook, with only 6.46% penetration in the country at the time, had made a major impact in Egypt during the Arab Spring.  Anything with a penetration rate of  15% or higher was something I recommended ministries pursuing (indicating them with a green background), having personally seen how outreach media had gone amazingly viral via mobile ministry in a country with only 18.5% mobile penetration and recognizing that penetration rates of 15% or greater indicate that nearly every adult male has a mobile phone.

Looking at difference in the past 2.5 years you see that each digital direction has increased its penetration and the number of places where pursuing a particular form of digital outreach is not recommended has fallen.  At the same time, you will notice that mobile continues to be the dominant digital forceA digital strategy among these least reached nations continues to need to be mobile first as it is the predominant digital media and the other “directions”, internet and social media, are growing through use on mobile devices.

Check out the cold hard facts below (there is link to a Google Doc you can view and download beneath the visuals) and leave a comment sharing some of the “takeaways” you walk away with.



Link to Downloadable Google Docs Spreadsheet

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  • Secure.gravatar

    Very useful research!
    In some countries like Myanmar where the mobile penetration has long been controlled by government regulation (SIM cards used to cost US$2000 a piece not so long ago), the market is busy opening up fast. This can be a never-to-be-repeated opportunity for ministries where there will be an adoption window period where your outreach app may be one of very few localized / vernacular mobile apps available. So some of those red blocks in the table actually flags unprecedented ministry opportunities!

    from Cape Town, South Africa
  • Secure.gravatar

    Thanks for your work on this data, appreciated.

    from Worthing, West Sussex, UK