Editor’s Note: Toby Shapshak is a technology journalist based in Johannesburg where he writes about tech and innovation in Africa. He edits the South African edition of Stuff magazine and has been named by GQ as one of the top 30 men in media. Follow him on Twitter: @Shapshak
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The internet in Africa is entirely different to the internet used in the developed world. In America or Europe, the internet is generally something you surf on a computer or tablet – a device with a 10-inch to 15-inch screen.
In Africa, hundreds of millions of people will experience the internet for the first time on a 2-inch cellphone screen. Probably in black and white. And probably only as text.
They may not even know they are using the internet. Google, for instance, offers search and Gmail via SMS, the text message service that is still the most popular form of communication.