WhatsApp and Facebook account for about 35% of internet usage in Zimbabwe, according to statistics released by the Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz).
The ICT and telecommunications regular highlighted the growing popularity of OTT (Over the Top) services for communication and said Facebook accounted for 1.3%, while "all other uses for the internet" accounted for about 64.3%.
In Q2 to the end of June, the country's internet penetration increased by 2.8% to reach 51.9%. This was spurred by a 5.7% rise in active internet subscriber numbers to 7.2 million, driven by an increase in fibre and mobile internet connectivity.
"Mobile internet and data usage increased by 16.9% to record 6,104TB from 5,220TB recorded in the previous quarter. Data utilisation from WhatsApp bundles constituted 34.4% of total mobile internet and data utilisation," stated Potraz in its quarterly report.
Mobile telephony companies have intensified bundle offerings and promotions for social media platforms in a bid to secure additional revenue.
In terms of voice telephony, Potraz said cellphone voice traffic "increased by 9.1% to record 1.2 billion minutes from 1.1 billion" recorded in Q1 2018.
Mobile Internet data usage increased by 16.9% to record 6.1 million MB, from 5.2 million MB recorded in the Q1 2018 period.
Additionally, active mobile money subscriptions grew by 6%, with the value of mobile money transactions registering a 66% increase from the previous quarter.
Active mobile subscriptions increased by 3.6% to reach 12,1 million and this has driven up the country's mobile penetration rate by 3.1% to 87.7%.
Potraz said the aggregate Average Revenue per User per month for the Zimbabwean telecom industry increased by 15.6% to reach $5.
"Total capital expenditure by the mobile operators declined by 55.2% to record $6,244,731in the second quarter of 2018 from $13,950,789 recorded in the first quarter of 2018," according to the regulator.
A new research report, Zimbabwe Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband Statistics and Analyses 2018, stated that the country's "three mobile network operators Econet Wireless, NetOne and Telecel Zimbabwe continue to invest in network upgrades to support data services and their fast-expanding m-commerce and m-banking facilities".