The truth about social media growth

If you needed proof that social media is one of the most effective ways of getting your message out to an ever-increasing audience, then the Arab Social Media Report has it in abundance

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...

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

NOTE: Comments posted on may be printed in the magazine Arabian Business

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Non-Muslim

A growing number of people in Europe have already cancelled their "social" network accounts again, or have decided not to register in the first place. These "social" network do not stick to even the most basic data protection laws and regulations, and are known to be grabbing and selling personal data. There are known cases where job applicants were denied a job because their (e.g.) facebook profile revealed too much of the persons' privacy (including inappropriate picture), creating fears in possible employers that this might also affect the privacy of company internal matters which might be revealed through such a source.

Only yesterday, one of the regionel governments in Germany has issued explicit orders that teachers and school are NOT allowed anymore to communicate through facebook & co., not even with their own students.

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Startup Academy: How to fund your startup

Startup Academy: How to fund your startup

Debate at the latest Arabian Business Startup Academy revealed...

Your AI-powered doctor

Your AI-powered doctor

How pioneering research project could one day help influence...

Decoding the legal framework for entrepreneurs in the UAE

Decoding the legal framework for entrepreneurs in the UAE

Certain considerations start-up founders need to keep in mind...

Most Discussed