The third quarter of 2014 witnessed a series of interesting developments in the field of ICT within the MENA region. In our latest quarterly Digital Digest, we shed light on some of those developments.
Of particular note, “We Are Social” released a rich report on the digital landscape within the MENA region. Here are five interesting findings related to social media penetration from their latest report:
- The majority of MENA countries (13 out of 20) exceeded the global social media penetration.
- Qatar leads this Social Media Penetration uptake with over double the global average (Qatar: 56% versus 27%), followed by UAE, Kuwait and Jordan.
- Although the penetration of social media in countries like Libya and Palestine is not more than 33%, they still exceed the average global penetration.
- The MENA countries that have been proven to be the slowest in their take-up are Yemen, Algeria and Morocco.
Finding out about Breaking News
In a recent study undertaken for Associated Press, the role that video plays in the changing news landscape was revealed. The study tackled consumer demand for video news content and the implications for broadcasters and online publishers. Their research provided evidence of the increasingly expanding role of Social Media in that realm. Social Media in the MENA region is a preferred source for breaking news for 23% of Arab internet users. The only media preceding Social platform in that has been “TV”. It was interesting to see that social media sources were more popular (but only just) than online outlets. Other sources, like radio, are much less popular.
Discovering Government Information
However, social media platforms are not the most preferred option to find out information about governmental services. Search engines, asking family members, colleagues and friends are much more preferred means to reach the needed information; according to findings from the Dubai School of Government.
Growth of the Arab Internet
Social Media is one of the other factors attracting ‘non-users’ of the Internet to enter that area. It is anticipated that there will be 197 million Arab internet users by 2017; with penetration expected to jump 51% by 2017, with an increase of 67% in the GCC region. ( Arab Knowledge Economy Report)
Growth in Arabic Digital Content
Given the project rise in Arab Internet users, it’s not surprising that a similar increase in Arabic digital content is also anticipated. Indeed, the Wall Street Journal reported that the increase in Arabic digital content has jumped 2.500% in the last decade. As for the future, it is expected that the Arabic language will rank fourth in the list of online languages with 150 million users by 2015 (Currently there are only 73 million users of Arab online content).
Want more stories like these? Explore the full Digest here: