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Thu 5 Apr 2018 04:07 PM

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Twitter shrinks gap with TV to break news in Saudi Arabia

Three-quarters of Saudi women say content on social media platform is influencing their decisions on what to buy

Twitter shrinks gap with TV to break news in Saudi Arabia
(LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)

Over a quarter of Saudi women used Twitter to discover the ban against female drivers in the country last year, according to a new report, suggesting the social media platform is gaining ground in the region.

The study, commissioned by Twitter and conducted by Hall&Partners, analysed activity on the social media platform and found that social media was the primary medium through which Saudis first found out about the ban being reversed last year.

More than 41 percent of Saudis found out about the ruling on social media, 66 percent of whom relied on Twitter to break the news.

A third of Saudis (33 percent) relied on TV to learn about the decision, while 26 percent found out from online news channels and word of mouth.

The data has large implications for both, auto brands now looking to tap into a sudden new market of drivers looking to buy cars in the country.

“The announcement of the driving ban lift generated 1.5 million Tweets within 24 hours alone,” Twitter Middle East’s managing director, Benjamin Ampen told Arabian Business.

“Approximately 62 percent of respondents say that the content they see on Twitter influences their decision on what car to buy. Top activity in relation to cars on Twitter is to see what others are saying about car brands and models This provides an opportunity for auto brands to leverage conversations; through live native videos or partnering with premium publishers to provide engaging content on the platform," he added.

The report comes after statistics by Meltwater in February which showed 91 percent of all activity on social media relation to the fourth edition of the World Government Summit in Dubai took place on Twitter. Broadcasts streamed on Twitter during the three-day Summit reached over half a million viewers during the course of the event.

Results from the survey suggest that in a market where over 80 percent than women influence household car buying decisions, over (56 percent) are planning to buy a car.

Of that number, 74 percent plan to buy a new car as opposed to a pre-owned one, and 16 percent of all women are keen to buy an SUV.