Squinting in the glittering sunlight from the 33rd floor of our Dubai office, I look down at the never ending stream of tiny cars speeding by on the highways below.
A smart device of some sort would almost certainly be found within each little vehicle. That thought alone is pretty overwhelming. Considering the phenomenal pace this city has grown at, it only stands to reason that the inhabitants should adapt just as fast. The impact of social media is certainly no different; any enterprise worth its salt has its tendrils somewhere within the social sphere and users in the region are quickly catching up with the West in terms of their usage.
Today the Arab region has more than 125 million internet users with a growth rate close to 30% on average annually. In 2012, countries like the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait achieved penetration rates above 50 percent, while on average regional penetration rates stood around 28 percent. Though countries like Morocco, Sudan and Yemen have some of the lowest penetration rates in the region, they also had some of the highest growth rates in the region.
The Arab Social Media Report, produced here in Dubai, highlights and analyses usage trends and data from Facebook and Twitter across the Arab region. We collected and summarised a few remarkable stats to sink your teeth into, which give a real picture of the impact of Facebook and Twitter in this region.
- Facebook (91%) is the most popular social network, followed by Google+, YouTube and then Twitter
- The total number of Facebook users in the Arab world as of the beginning of May 2014 is 81,302,064 up from 54,552,875 in May 2013
- Growth of Facebook users between Jan and May 2014 (% of population):
- Iraq: 25%
- Qatar: 24%
- Egypt: 15%
- Jordan: 14%
- Kuwait: 12%
- Morocco: 13%
- Tunisia: 10%
- UAE: 9%
- KSA: 8%
- The total number of active Twitter users in the Arab world reached 5,797,500 users as of March 2014
- The country with the highest number of active Twitter users in the Arab region is Saudi Arabia with 2.4 million users, accounting for over 40% of all active Twitter users in the Arab region
- Saudi Arabia, alone, produced 40% of all tweets in the Arab world, while Egypt produced 17% and Kuwait produced 10%
And finally a couple of revealing graphs. The frequency of Social Media usage:
Attitudes Towards the Internet and Social Media:
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