It might look like the ugliest web forum in the world, but, as of today, over 1 million people have registered on Nairaland, the largest website in Nigeria after its eight years of existence.
The website founded by Seun Osewa as a forum back in March 2005 has grown to become a leading source of information and entertainment, featuring news, sports, technology, culture, politics, religion, career, business, education and much more.
Even though the website has lacked innovation over the years, instead sticking to its simplistic nature, and only optimised its content for mobile devices last July, it has recorded impressive traffic with over 4 million unique visitors and over 35 million page views as at November 2012, according to Osewa, citing Google Analytics.
But that’s not all. The website told Google to stick their Adsense in their behind last October and introduced a new paid advertising offer for direct advertisers, a move considered by industry observers as being late into the real online advertising game.
Interestingly, the new ad strategy has enabled the website to monetise hugely from its content and audience, helped advertisers to get great exposure and kept the user experience on point.
While the Nairaland forum is, arguably, the first to reach 1 million registered users in Nigeria, there are indications that monthly active users could be around one-fourth of that figure.
This is so because most Nairalanders (as Nairaland users are fondly called) have multiple accounts on the online forum, and most of them don’t bother to login or register but “read the site like a newspaper site and search it with Google”, as Osewa noted in an interview with CP-Africa last March.
Some would argue that the largest online forum in Nigeria has been slow to grow considering Nigeria’s fast growing Internet user base over the past 5 years, now estimated to be about 45 million as at December 2012.
For instance, three years ago, Nairaland had about 400,000 members and when compared with Facebook’s Nigerian user base of about 500, 000 users at the time, but now with over 6 million users, it would seem that Nairaland has a slow growth.
After eight years, one million registered users, zero external funding, and millions of naira in revenues, the site hasn’t got an official logo, a registered office or employees, except for its founder and a few freelance moderators.
While we’re not sure of the site’s future plans, we can only wish that it starts creating meaningful employment for the unemployed youth and further contribute to the country’s economic growth.
We celebrate with Seun Osewa as a pioneering and inspiring web entrepreneur and look forward to Nairaland’s growth in the years to come. As part of our support, we’ve created a new Nairaland channel on Techloy to let you stay in touch with all things Nairaland, as our lead developer, Anibe suggested.