: The first of its kind report on ‘Social Media in the Arab World,’ unveiled on the sidelines of the Arab Social Media Influencers Summit in Dubai, reveals that Facebook and WhatsApp are the most popular social networking sites in the region. Twitter and Instagram cam second with the report highlighting that different countries record varying usage patterns of the social networking sites.
His Excellency Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Arab Social Media Influencers Summit, and Chairman of the Executive Office of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, explained: "The report provides important and practical information that enables decision-makers to effectively manage social networking sites through unique insights on usage patterns. As the report opens doors to how the Arab world perceives and uses social networking sites, the findings will help decision-makers to invest optimally in the right tools to support their future plans and programmes.”
HE Al Gergawi added that the launch of the report reinforces the leading positon of the Arab Social Media Influencers Summit to delivering an integrated and comprehensive view of the use of social media in the region. Social media has recorded significant progress over the past years and is a key means of exchanging news and information in the region.”
The key findings relating the social networking sites are:
Facebook: According to the report, Facebook is the most social networking tool, favoured by 39% of the respondents. Two out of every five users in the Arab world said that Facebook is their clear favorite. Jordan tops in the preference for Facebook, where users accounted for 63%, followed by Libya and Palestine at 50%. It was least favored in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon with only 24% each respondents, followed by Bahrain at 26%. A vast majority of Facebook users -89% - checked in daily, with the highest usage rate in Palestine and Iraq at 99% each, and the lowest in both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, at 79% and 81% respectively.
WhatsApp: WhatsApp is the most social tool favoured in the Arab world at 41%. Nearly 2 out of 5 users in the Arab world said that WhatsApp is their most preferred with the highest acceptance in Lebanon and Sudan at 58% and 50% of total respondents, respectively. Users in Jordan least preferred it at only 18%. Nearly 84% of the respondents have access to WhatsApp.
Twitter: According to the survey, preference for Twitter is the lowest at only 4% stating they turn to the social media platform, with the highest preference in Saudi Arabia and the UAE at 12% and 8% respectively, while it is lowest at Egypt at 1%.
Instagram: The report pointed out that preference for Instagram was low with only 6% of the total users stating that they prefer Instagram. It has the highest preference rates in the UAE, Kuwait, and Bahrain at 11% each. Users in each of Syria and Libya least preferred it at only 1% of total users.
YouTube: YouTube also has low preference rate with an average 5% of the total users saying they prefer it, the highest being in Qatar and Bahrain, at 11% and 9%, respectively. YouTube is not the preferred means for users in Syria. About subscription rates, the report showed that the highest subscription rates are in both Lebanon and Morocco, at 75% and 68% respectively, and the lowest rates in both Syria and Palestine, at 12% and 15% respectively.
Google+: The preference for Google+ still very low for users in the study with only 2% of the total users stating that they prefer it, with the highest rates of preference in Morocco and Lebanon at 4% in each. Respondents in Palestine did not site it as a preferred means to them. Google+ has subscription rates of about 29% of the users of social media in the Arab world.
LinkedIn: The report indicates that LinkedIn is also one of the low-preference means for users with only 1% of the total users stating it is their preferred means. LinkedIn has the highest rates of preference in the UAE and Bahrain, at 2% each, while users in Sudan, Libya, Egypt, Algeria, Syria, Palestine, Iraq and Yemen do not perceive it as a preferred means of social networking.
The first event of its kind in region, Arab Social Media Influencers Summit brings together more than 1500 social media experts from Arab countries and across the world. As many as 38 leading speakers and influencers at the Summit will inspire young Arabs to employ their innovative ideas to serve the Arab community through optimal use of social media channels. The Summit concludes on March 18.
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