Hivisasa, Africa’s first crowdsourced news site, is shutting down after 6 years in business.
A notice from its founder & chief executive Chloe Spoerry issued on Wednesday said despite growing a 6.1 active audience, it has been unable to identify a viable advertisement-led-business model.’
“As a result, we have made the hard decision to close down the current service of local news production, in order to explore new ideas and opportunities.”
Spoerry said the influence of the platform has been demonstrated regularly by the social impact of its original county stories, which drive collective action and civic engagement. The platform covered Garissa, Kiambu, Kibera, Kisii, Kisumu, Machakos, Mombasa, Nakuru, Nyamira, and Uasin Gishu counties.
— Hivisasa (@HiviSasa) January 29, 2020
In 2019, it cut its staff by half as part of a reorganization to cut operational expenses.
Hivisasa is backed by Luminate (formally Omidyar Network) and Novastar Ventures.
A 2019 study ‘Social Media Consumption in Kenya: Trends and Practices’ conducted as a joint partnership between the United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa) and the U.S. Embassy found out that: 31% use social media to acquire knowledge, 28% for entertainment and 24% for social interactions.
“Despite the increase in popularity of social networking sites and related digital media, there is limited data and studies on consumption patterns of the new media by different global communities.”
The survey sampled 3,269 respondents aged between 14 and 55 from eight counties drawn from Nairobi, Coast, Central, Western, Nyanza, Eastern, Rift Valley, and North Eastern between December 2018 and March 2019.
In terms of the survey found out that the most read type of blog in the rural areas is the Sports blog as compared to the urban areas where the most read type of blog is the travel category of blog.
On the other hand, the most popular blogs with urban residents are Travel, Politics and Food and Fashion blogs. For the rural areas, the most popular blogs are the Sports, Education and Entertainment blogs.
Similarly, findings from Reelforge and TIFA Research, ‘Kenya Media Landscape Report July 2019’ noted that advertising expenditure remained the primary source of revenue for the media.
“With increased competition and declining advertising spends on traditional media, it is time for media enterprises to develop business models that will diversify streams,” reads part of the report.