Social Media and Qatar

16 Aug 2015

Across the world social media has changed the way people interact with each other. This powerful medium is connecting people from all walks of life and giving them a chance to reach out into the world. The Middle East opened up to the idea of social media a bit later than the rest of the world but has caught up and developed several platforms that are friendly and relevant to the Arabic speaking population. Traditional and conservative by religion, the region has seen an upsurge in the usage of social media amongst the younger generation.

The mobile phone has become an important component in assisting the growth of social media in the region. Internet penetration when seen from the view of usage on computers might seem quite low compared to the averages across the developed world but mobile phones have definitely given a thrust in increasing the number of users who are online today.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp, Google, You Tube, Yahoo and other internet giants have made great in-roads into the Middle East in 2014. In the entire MENA region the top slot is still retained by Facebook and Egypt dominates in terms of number of users. Surprisingly the Twitter boards were dominated by Arabic tweets from Saudi Arabia. This conservative nation lead the way by nearly taking up 40% of the total tweets in the MENA region in 2014, stated a report. UAE is Viber’s third biggest market in the world and even Turkey sneaked into the top 10 in 2014. The youth are using social media to not just communicate but also to share news and developments in their nations. While news channels still reign strong, it might seem that the younger lot are happier getting their news from their peers.

The increased usage has also given rise to affect crime laws for the internet and Saudi Arabia has started its process to monitor this. While total internet freedom isn’t yet seen in the region, it is still making the best use of its resources to create an environment which will help the next generation cross more bridges and barriers easily.

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