Over 164m active Facebook users in the Middle East, study shows

A new study found that Egypt remains the largest market for Facebook in the region, with 24 million daily users
Over 164m active Facebook users in the Middle East, study shows
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Thu 07 Feb 2019 01:56 PM

There are 164 million active users in the Arab World, up from 56 million in 2013, according to a new study from Damian Radcliffe, a professor at the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communications.

According to the study, Egypt remains the biggest market for Facebook in the region, with 24 million daily users and nearly 37 million monthly mobile users.

The highest growth rate of social media users – both in the Middle East and worldwide – was found to be Saudi Arabia, where users grew by 32 percent compared a global average of 13 percent between January 2017 and January 2018.

Additionally, the report found that there about 12 million daily Snapchat users in the GCC, including 9 million in Saudi Arabia and 1 million in the UAE.

When it comes to YouTube, the study identified more than 200 YouTube channels in the region that have over a million subscribers, as well as over 30,000 that have more than 10,000 subscribers.

More than two-thirds (63 percent) of Arab Youth say they first look to Facebook and Twitter for news, with 49 percent reporting than they get their news on Facebook every day, up from 35 percent the previous year.

“Notable trends from the past year include the continued popularity of Facebook and Facebook-owned products, especially with Arab Youth, as well as increasing challenges to online freedom of expression in many parts of the region,” Radcliffe said.

Additionally, he noted that “the rise of social media influencers has met with some pushback, from regulation in the UAE to more tragic and threatening responses in Iraq.”

“What the study shows is that social media in the region continues to be complex, complicated and fast changing,” he added. “Keeping up with the latest developments is essential for brands, media companies and governments across the region and beyond.”

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