Published in June this year, the Arab Social Media Report is a telling document. Put together with the aim of informing “a better understanding of the impact of social media on development and growth in the Arab region,” the report’s findings make exciting reading for businesses already using social media, and serve as a wake-up call to those lagging behind.
The latest report is part of an ongoing series, begun in 2011, and explores a number of questions, including:
- What are the penetration trends of social networking service in the Arab region?
- What is the growth rate and what is the demographic and gender breakdown?
- What factors affect the adoption of these platforms in different Arab countries?
- What is the impact of these phenomena on citizen engagement and social inclusion?
- What is the impact of the new social dynamics influenced by social media on innovations and entrepreneurship in Arab societies?
In its own words, it hopes that the findings “shed light on the role social media plays in the societal transformations taking place in the Arab world.” For our purposes, it’s worth looking at the speed of growth and rate of penetration social media highlighted within its pages.
There’s no getting away from it; Facebook is still on the rise. Even after all these years, it is still attracting huge numbers of users who are becoming increasingly prepared to live every aspect of life and work through its blue and white pages.
Consider this statistic: the total number of Facebook users in the Arab world by the end of May 2013 was 54,552,875, up from 45,194,452 in June 2012. This is an increase of nearly ten million people in one year.
The country average for Facebook penetration went up from twelve percent to nineteen percent in the same time-frame, with the UAE registering the highest penetration in the region at 41.7 percent.
With so many people continuing to flock to Facebook, it is no surprise businesses are building, improving and marketing their brand’s Facebook profiles. And now than ever, if you are not one of those businesses, you are losing out on a vast number of potential clients and customers.
The short and sweet manifestation of the tweet makes it an advertising tool that’s hard to master, but one which can bring huge benefits. The ability of people to retweet or use hashtags to trend a topic means your business could be seen by huge numbers of people in a very short space of time, whether it’s a straight-down-the-line advert, some words of wisdom, a comment about current affairs, or anything in between.
The report records that the Arab world now has 3,766,160 users, with 1.9 million in Saudi Arabia alone.
Article continued on next page...