Newly released reports from a leading online reference library indicates that Qatar is experiencing a digital renaissance.
At a staggering internet penetration rate of 99%, only 1% of Qatar’s population remained offline at the start of 2023, as revealed by DataReportal’s latest report.
Out of the total population, 2.62 million people (96.8%) were active social media users, making the Gulf nation one of the countries with the highest social media usage rates in the world.
As of early 2023, there were 4.89 million active cellular mobile connections in Qatar, surpassing the country’s total population at a rate of 180.9%, according to recent data. The report also revealed that 97.8% of the country’s internet users accessed at least one social media platform in January 2023.
Meanwhile, between 2022 and 2023, the number of internet users in the Gulf nation increased by 0.8%, or 21 thousand individuals, as reported by Kepios analysis.
However, despite advancements in technology, it is important to note that collecting and analysing data on internet users remains a complex process, often resulting in the delayed publication of research data, which under-represents the reality of internet use and growth. For this reason, actual adoption rates and progress being potentially higher than reported figures.
A closer look
The most popular platforms among residents of Qatar were YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Snapchat.
Although the advertisement reach of some of these platforms has grown, user growth for Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and YouTube has declined, with Facebook and Instagram losing around 150,000 and 100,000 users, respectively.
According to Meta’s planning tools, Instagram’s potential ad reach in Qatar experienced a decline of 8.3%, or 100 thousand users, between 2022 and 2023, as per the latest data published.
However, LinkedIn, Twitter, and TikTok saw an increase in their user base between the start of 2022 and early 2023, with each platform amassing 200,000, 431,000, and 602,000 users, respectively.
ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, indicated that the platform’s ads reached 96.5% of all adults aged 18 and above in Qatar at the start of 2023.
Its ad planning tools have also revealed a notable increase of 39.1%, or 602 thousand, in TikTok’s potential ad reach in Qatar from the start of 2022 to early 2023, while further data suggests that potential ad reach increased by 2.4%, or 50 thousand, between October 2022 and January 2023.
The top 5 countries in the world for YouTube reach are all located in the MENA region. Lebanon ranked first, followed by Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, according to a recently released report by University of Oregon.
UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and Iraq are among the countries from the Middle East that hold the top five positions for TikTok in terms of reach. Nine MENA countries are among the top 20.
More internet, better speed
Apart from high social media usage rates, Qatar has also seen an improvement in internet speeds.
In fact, the report from DataReportal showed that mobile internet connection speeds increased by 78.08 Mbps (over 79.6%) in the twelve months leading up to January 2023. Fixed internet connection speeds also improved, with an increase of 26.70 Mbps (over 41.6%) during the same period of time.
Qatar, however, was not the only country experiencing rising internet usage. The report noted that hundreds of nations around the globe are also witnessing the same growth thanks to the ever-evolving digital landscape that’s taking the world by storm.
However, Qatar’s high social media adoption rates and fast internet speeds reflect the country’s growing reliance on technology and digital connectivity.
As the world becomes more interconnected, Qatar is at the forefront of this digital revolution, embracing social media and technological advancements as it continues to grow.
Last week, a new study by the University of Oregon-UNESCO Crossings Institute, revealed that Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain have the highest levels of social media usage in the world.
The study found that people in these countries are spending more time on social media platforms than ever before. In fact, the average time spent on social media in the three Gulf states is higher than the global average.