Top 10 Social Media Developments for 2012 In MENA

Here’s a link to a short post on ictQATAR’s Digital Qatar website highlighting 10 key social media developments from the Middle East last year. Accompanying this I also wrote a recent article for the BBC College of Journalism website on some of these key digital developments. Of these, the rise of Arabic usage on Facebook is probably the most noteworthy, but there’s plenty to take stock of.

Our Top 10 Social Media Developments In MENA

by · February 18, 2013


If you’re on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter – and I suspect most Digital Qatar readers are – then it’s easy to forget that actually you’re in a minority. Most other people in the region aren’t on social networks, but they are joining – and engaging – in ever increasing numbers. For example, 36,000 new people in Arabia join Facebook every day. That’s over 250,000 people a week, or a million a month. Yikes!

Below I’ve captured some of the key social media developments from across the region during the last 12 months.

If you haven’t got time to read the whole deck, here’s 10 developments to note.




  • Of the 150m LinkedIn members across the globe, 5.8m are in the Middle East. In contrast to Facebook, the gender skew is much less pronounced on this network – with 58% of members male, 42% female.
  • This represents 3.8% of LinkedIn’s total members –not much different to the % of global Facebook users (4%) found in the region. Both networks opened their first offices in the region last year in recognition of the potential for growth.
  • A third of LinkedIn members in the region work in High-tech or Manufacturing roles, with 12% working in engineering roles and another 10% in operations.

What are they talking about?

MENA social media users are much more likely to talk about politics, community issues and religion online than in other parts of the world. Does this chime with your own experience of these networks? What are your predictions for 2013?

I think Instagram is going to become even bigger in the region, but that’s another story for another time…in the meantime, browse through the slides below (see here) and let us know what excites you.

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