The world has seen a significant increase in social media usage in recent years, and the Gulf region is no exception.
Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain have the highest levels of social media usage in the world, according to a new study.
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.
Released by the University of Oregon-UNESCO Crossings Institute, under the direction of Professor Damian Radcliffe, the “Social Media in the Middle East 2022: A Year in Review” study is the eleventh in a line of yearly reports that began in 2012.
It said the rise in social media usage in the Gulf region can be attributed to several factors, including age and internet access.
The study said the region has a young and tech-savvy population, with a high penetration of smartphones and internet access. Secondly, the availability of high-speed internet and 4G networks has made it easier for people to access social media platforms.
However, global social media usage is still at 2019 levels, with one exception. According to the survey, people in the Middle East and Africa frequently spend more than three hours per day on social media.
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.
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.
Nine of the top 16 countries using Snapchat globally based on reach are in region as well. Additionally, they comprise five of the top 20 markets worldwide in terms of audience size. Bahrain has the highest reach (79.8%) of any national market in the world.
With 96.1% of those 13 and older using Facebook, Libya has the largest global reach for the social media platform. Furthermore, with 75% of those aged 13 and older using the app, Libya is second in the world for Facebook Messenger use.
While Turkey has grown to become the 5th largest Instagram market with close to 49 million users worldwide, four MENA countries are in the top 20 for Instagram reach.
The top 20 markets for Twitter include three MENA nations. Five of the top 20 positions are held by the region when looking at market share.