On the 4th of June 2021, the Nigerian government officially put an indefinite ban on Twitter’s operations in the country. The ban was premised on ‘persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence’. This happened after Twitter removed a post by the Nigerian president threatening secessionists in the south-eastern part of the country. This post examines the negative impact of Twitter ban in Nigeria on businesses. The impact will be examined in regard to investments, marketing, careers and customer services.
As a result of the Twitter ban in Nigeria, several Twitter users have not been able to access their accounts. They have also expressed displeasure at the suspension of a main outlet they had to hold their government to account. However, these are not the only things affected. Although individuals could go on to use other social media platforms, it’s another story for businesses on Twitter.
Impact of Twitter ban in Nigeria on businesses
1. Impact of the ban on Investments in Nigeria
When Twitter chose Ghana for its African headquarters, Nigeria got some competition as per attracting investment into its tech ecosystem. With this ban however, the Nigerian economy may be affected which in turn will keep the investors away. This will deprive the country of much-needed investments. Businesses that may have grown due to investment may not have the opportunity to do so again. Worse still, there would be a negative impact on development.
Investors will generally prefer to turn to markets without the threat of sudden regulatory disruptions to the digital economy. In fact, Twitter’s choice of Ghana over Nigeria would only be the beginning.
2. Impact of Twitter ban on Marketing
For businesses that depend on Twitter to run marketing campaigns, this ban is no good news. Gbenga Sesan, the executive director of Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, has commented on this. In his words, “Businesses in Nigeria use digital media to reach customers, expose their brands and communicate with various stakeholders.” He also added that such businesses will be affected by the erratic decision of the Nigerian government.
3. Impact of Twitter ban in Nigeria on careers
From social media managers to product photographers, millions of Nigerians have created careers off Twitter. This ban will affect the number of people making a living off Twitter, putting their sources of livelihood at risk. Application builders using Twitter API’s are also affected. Every domain that has Twitter API’s embedded in it is blocked as a result of the ban. This means that such application builders cannot work. If eventually, they find a way to innovate around the ban, their users may not.
4. Impact of Twitter ban in Nigeria on businesses customer services
Many small and medium enterprises make use of Twitter to reach customers and build relationships with them. Banning such a popular media platform might mean the loss of customers for such businesses. The Twitter ban will also affect their ability to serve their customers. This will in turn impact those businesses negatively as the blood of any business is making sales. If there are no customers though, how will sales be made?
As earlier stated, other social media platforms exist. However, their posts may not gain much engagement as Twitter provides. As long as the ban is up, other African countries such as Ghana, South Africa and Kenya will benefit more. This is because they will attract more International Venture Capital. In conclusion, this ban has affected Nigeria and will continue to for as long as it is up.