Arabian Business Podcast: The unstoppable rise of social media in the MENA region

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Time: May 23, 2018

Among the many revelations in the ASDAA Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey of 2018, the one that was perhaps most revealing was that, for the first time in the survey’s ten-year history, young people aged between 18 and 24 said they use social media for news and information more than television.

Indeed, some 49 percent get their daily news from Facebook.

This, of course, reflects the opportunities presented by the ongoing fracture of traditional media, particularly in a region like the Middle East where television channels and newspapers have been traditionally tightly controlled.

The democratisation of media has meant youth in the region have not only gained access to a new world news sources, pundits, bloggers, activists, critics and cultural curators – and a whole slew of unhelpful and hateful noise in between – that was off-limits a decade ago, but also the ability to participate in global conversations, whether as citizen journalists or, with the rise of the influencer, entrepreneurs, entertainers and thought leaders.

It’s a trend that will only continue; there are now more than 100 million social media users in the MENA region and around 320 million mobile phone subscriptions – a penetration figure of 127 percent.

As brands increasingly turn their gaze onto both the platforms and the personalities emerging on them, the rise of social media in the Arab World seems unstoppable.

On this week’s podcast, Arabian Business magazine editor Eddie Taylor talks to Benjamin Ampen, managing director of Twitter in the region,

Ramzi Halaby, co-founder of Dubai-based social media and digital consultancy The Online Project and Tamara Jamal, social media influencer and TV presenter about the ever-evolving landscape

This article was first published in Arabian Business

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