MORE than two million Kenyans are on Facebook, with new research indicating that the popular social networking website is slowly edging out the e-mail as the preferred mode of electronic communication, writes Kui Kinyanjui in Business Daily.

New research from Synovate reveals that 79 per cent of Internet-savvy Kenyans visit the website, using it as a primary means to talk to friends, relatives and work mates.

"The implications are significant, this could be a game changing phenomenon especially as we see more businesses start to use the service as an alternate tool to talk to their customers," said Joe Otin, Media Research and Monitoring Director for pan Africa at Synovate.

Synovate's latest report, dubbed the Digital Dive, indicates that social networking and entertainment have overtaken e-mails as a primary need for Internet use.

As a result, a quarter of Kenyans who are online do not even have an e-mail address, a significant change from five years ago, when 89 per cent of all Internet users in the country had e-mail address.

"The value proposition presented by the internet means advertising online now makes sense," said Mr Otin. Synovate's data reveal that daily and weekly Internet usage has more than doubled in the last two years while monthly usage grew by 80 per cent making it the fastest growing media last year, with more than 3.5 million monthly users.

On average, Kenyan Internet users spend approximately 70 minutes on the Internet per visit.

Click here to read the full report, posted on Business Daily's website.