The financial sector tumult over the past year has seen the growth in business blogging, the State of the Internet Report 2016 reveals. The report by the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) authors that business blogs recorded the second highest growth in the past year at 46 per cent.
The rapid growth of business blogs was not a surprise following the trouble with the banking industry; more than once, Social Media and Kenyans online were accused of causing the collapse of Chase Bank and soft runs in several other banks, reads the report.
It adds that many new bloggers are opting to create business blogs as opposed to other categories like creative writing which has been dominant in the last few years.
In the recent days, Family Bank has seen negative news being published online by some bloggers and social media influencers. It led the Banking Fraud Investigations Unit to arrest one user and the Bank reporting profits for the news to cool off.
Before Family Bank, the National Bank was also negatively covered early in the year by bloggers.
During the year, the report says that lifestyle blogging recorded the highest growth, 69 per cent. Creative writing recorded a growth rate of 36 per cent. However, other sectors recorded a decline in readership. Political category decreased by 47 per cent followed by entertainment by 37 per cent.
We always expected that the two categories would be the biggest gainers going with the past trends but it seems things are changing. One simple explanation as to why the two categories lost readership could be that Kenyans are getting serious with the content they interact with online, reads the report.
It adds that for the entertainment category in specific, the other reason could be because traffic is being diverted elsewhere, especially to the ever increasing popularity of Facebook videos and YouTube.
The report documents the growth of blogging as a profession in Kenya, citing both numerical growth in niche specific blogs and also employment in the sector. It lists blogs like HapaKenya, Techweez, Tuko, Ghafla! and Soko Directory as having full time staff as an indicator of the growth in the sector, creating employment in the process.
The report also highlights human rights abuses targeting women, children and LGBTIQ communities, legal issues in the courts and laws used to intimidate bloggers or advance their course. In addition, it raises security concerns ahead of the 2017 General Elections.
The acquisition of a spy software FinFisher by the National Intelligence Service (NIS) and its utility to monitor and possibly bring down web platforms is alarming, asserts a press statement from BAKE on the report.