Digital Digest Special: Social Media in the MENA - 2012 Review

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A personal take from Damian Radcliffe on key social media developments in the Middle East during 2012.

Transcript of Digital Digest Special: Social Media in the MENA - 2012 Review

  • 1.Digital Digest Special: Social Media in the MENA - 2012 Review Issue 6: January 2013 rassed@ict.gov.qaContact us: Twitter: @ictqatar

2. 1. Social Media Summary Source: http://bit.ly/114rpD6 3. Source: http://www.pewglobal.org/2012/12/12/social-networking-popular-across-globe/ 2. Putting MENA usage in a global context A 21-nation survey conducted by the Pew Research Centers Global Attitudes Project demonstrated the popularity of social networks across the globe and the increasingly important role of smartphones in accessing them. The research also demonstrated often unique or pronounced cultural sensibilities reflected on social networks. Users of social networking in Tunisia (63%), Egypt (63%) and Jordan (62%) are also more likely than those in other countries to say they have posted on religion. In fact, in no other nation surveyed has a majority of users of these sites shared views about religion. In 14 countries, only about a third or less have posted on this topic. 4. Source: http://www.pewglobal.org/2012/12/12/social-networking-popular-across-globe/ 3. Sharing view on politics and community issues also more prevalent in MENA Sports, is a less common topic, with half or more of users of social networking sites in only seven countries India, Jordan, Tunisia, Turkey, Egypt, Brazil and China saying they have shared their opinions about it. 5. In the summer, the Dubai School of Government published data about social media usage in the region. LinkedIn was included for the first time: http://bit.ly/OMWu3H On Digital Qatar, ictQATARs blog for technology enthusiasts, I outlined 10 key points for Qatar from the report. Read them here: http://bit.ly/OJbZZM 4. Social media penetration in the Middle East 6. 5. 2012 saw Facebook grow by nearly a third Facebook grew by 29% in the MENA region during 2012, adding over 10M new registered users. Membership is growing fastest in Qatar, Libya and Iraq, with more than 115%, 86% and 81% new users respectively. Egypt has 17M online Facebook users. The highest of any country in the region. 2.5M new people in Egypt joined Facebook since January 2012, the highest absolute user growth of any country in the region. Source: http://bit.ly/YR7pTl 7. 6. Usage continues to skew male and young But usage is still low when mapped against the wider Facebook population 8. 7. This continues themes identified in 2011 Youth (between the ages of 15 and 29) still make up around 70% of Facebook users in the Arab region, a number that has been holding steady since April 2011. Moreover, the UAE is still the most balanced in terms of adult and youthful Facebook users, while countries such as Palestine, Yemen and Morocco persist in having a predominantly youthful Facebook user population. Demographic Breakdown of Facebook Users in the Arab Region* (Oct 2011) Source: Arab Social Media Report, Dubai School of Government: http://www.dsg.ae/en/ASMR3/ASMRYouth3.aspx 9. 8. Much of Facebooks growth is via Arabic usage By May, data suggested Facebook had 45 million users in the region, with Arabic overtaking English as the most popular language on Facebook in the MENA. Facebooks Arabic interface has outstripped the sites overall growth in the region by nearly double, reaching 160% year-on- year growth by May 2011 This is compared with overall subscriber growth of 87%. As a result, there are now more Facebook Arabic users in the MENA today than there were total Facebook users in the region two years ago. U3http://bit.ly/KFMASource: 10. 9. But usage, by language, varies substantially U3http://bit.ly/KFMASource: Perhaps as a reflection of this, Facebook opened its first office in the Middle East (in Dubai) during 2012. Even in countries where Arabic FB usage is secondary, growth remains substantial e.g. UAE saw a 47% growth in Facebook Arabic users last year. Arabic dominates Facebook usage in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. 60% of Iraqs 1.6 million Facebook subscribers now use the Arabic interface, 74% in Libya, 75% in Palestine and 82% in Yemen. French is the majority FB language in Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. In Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Oman and the UAE, English is the most popular language used. Kn7http://bit.ly/KsSImage: 11. 10. It was also a busy year for Twitter By the end of 2012 there are now 17 million tweets every day in Arabic. That is 1 billion tweets every two months. 1 out of 4 tweets are written in Arabizi (Arabizi is slang/an alphabet used to communicate in the Arabic language over the Internet) Source: Kaveh Gharib, localization project manager, Twitter via http://bit.ly/12hwCX3 Image: http://bit.ly/TAzhdh Source: http://tcrn.ch/SPzyFv 40% of all Arabic tweets, half of Wikipedias Arabic content and 35% of all Arabic content on the web comes from Saudi Arabia: http://bit.ly/12peESt Twitter now offers its mobile Web site in Arabic and Farsi. This was made possible through the support of their community of translators. The main Twitter site has been available in these two languages, as well as Hebrew and Urdu, since March (the first time Twitter was available in right- to-left languages). 12. NB: Data from Digital Arabia from June 2012 This community of translators were part of the 13,000 volunteers who helped translate Twitter into four new languages. See: Twitter Now Available in Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and Urdu Map by Venture Beat to illustrate Twitters new geographic reach 11. Volunteers played a key role in making it happen Sources: http://bit.ly/Mwdbmi http://bit.ly/NqkAVB Arabic is now the 6th most popular language on the Twitter, accounting for 2.8% of all tweets. Via: http://tcrn.ch/QMdhVq 13. Taghreedat, who worked on these efforts is also working to introduce the first Arabic Tech/Web 2.0 Dictionary. The Next Web reported that 2,500 volunteers from 28 countries are producing a dictionary of technological and social media-related terminology. 12. And in providing an Arabic context The glossary will break a big barrier because many users resort to combining English terminology with the Arabic text, so we want to change that and introduce the first Arabic technology and social media glossary. Co-founder of Taghreedat Sami Mubarak speaking to Gulf News 14. 13. The Middle Easts most connected Twitter users Communications consultancy Portland analyzed three months of data to determine the regions 50 most connected Twitter users. 78% mainly discussed politics 67% shared national news About one third tweeted about their personal lives 38% are commentators and activists 36% were journalists About one fifth of the top-50 were government officials or politicians Top 10 most connected Twitter users in the Middle East 1- Sultan Al Qassemi (UAE) @SultanAlQassemi 2- Dima Khatib (Qatar) @Dima_Khatib 3- Wael Ghonim (Egypt) @Ghonim 4- Mohamed El Baradei (Egypt) @ElBaradei 5- Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid (UAE) @HHShkMohd 6- Nabeel Rajab (Bahrain) @NABEELRAJAB 7- Rania Al Abdullah (Jordan) @QueenRania 8- Khalid Al Khalifa (Bahrain) @Khalidalkhalifa 9- Maryam Al Khawaja (Bahrain) @MARYAMALKHAWAJA 10- Turki Al Dakhil (Saudi Arabia) @TurkiAldakhil Source: http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/politics-dominates- tweets-in-the-middle-east Image: http://bit.ly/VtZuqd 15. 14. The 100 Most Influential Arabs on Twitter Earlier in the year Wamda, identified the Top 100 Most Influential Arabs on Twitter based on their Klout score. Of this: 38% of the Top Tweeps are from KSA. Egypt comes in second with 30%. The media sector is the dominant profession with 62%. Politics is secondat 16%. The majority of Top Tweeps are male, while only 14% of the total list of 100 were female. With thanks to @shusmo for highlighting this. The Top 10 is below or grab a pdf of the full list. 16. 15. Corporate Usage of social media is also on the rise Images taken from: HKgy9bit.ly/Mhttp:// 17. 16. As is use of LinkedIn Source: http://tfour.me/2012/11/growth-of- linkedin-in-middle-east-an-infograph/ NB: Revisit Slide 6 for country specific figures 18. LinkedIn, opened its first MENA office on October 1st. The network, which now more than 175 million members worldwide, has over five million members in the Middle East and North Africa, one million of which are based in the UAE. Their offices are in Dubais Internet City: http://press.linkedin.com/node/1230 17. Like Facebook it too now has a MENA office Source:http://tfour.me/2012/11/growth-of- linkedin-in-middle-east-an-infograph/ 19. 18. 2013, a new social network? Salamworld a halal social network was originally slated to launch during Ramadan. Then in November 2012. It seems to have gone quiet, but may launch in 2013 Based upon Islamic ideals, and , it hopes to bridge cultural, traditional and sectarian barriers and bring Muslims together in one online community. They will aim to ensure halal content through filters, moderators and user-based moderation. The site will be available in eight languages including English, Arabic, Turkish, Urdu, and Russian. Plans to attract 5-15 million users by the end of 2012. Target audience includes: Young generation of Muslims and non-Muslims, International network of contemporary Muslim Scholars, Muslim communities in Islamic and non-Islamic regions and Non-Muslims seeking information on Islam. The content that is being used on other social networks is not very secure and full of haram... We dont want our young people to absorb all these ideas that are not familiar to them. One of Salamworlds owners, Abdulvahed Niyazo, via Hrriyet Daily News Omar Chatriwala, an online journalist in Qatar, described the site as: people trying to uphold the traditional values or the values of the religion who are saying we dont want our youth exposed to this, and this is a better alternative Its not necessarily the young people saying we dont want to be exposed to it. 20. Saudi Arabia is Twitters fastest-growing market percentage-wise month on month: http://bit.ly/NmjXLy Young Emirati women