As one of the world’s fastest-growing regional economies, and one which is making enormous investments in its telecommunications infrastructure, the Middle East’s vast potential as the next hotspot of online growth is well recognised. With marketers around the world increasingly keen to make use of social media it is perhaps surprising that the Middle East (and specifically the GCC) has yet to see some of the innovations, and there is a less active social media scene than international spectators might normally expect. The Middle East’s social media ecosystem is certainly growing. To take only the social network with the most readily available data, Facebook, we see recent estimates of month-on-month growth of anything up to 48 per cent for countries in the GCC and North Africa (Inside Facebook, 2011). Whatever the real picture is behind this perceived trend, it is notable that according to some sources Qatar and the UAE now have a higher nominal Facebook penetration than countries like the United Kingdom and New Zealand (www.socialbakers, 2011).
Recommended CitationRyan, Phil, Digital Tools of the Trade: The Social Media Fourum, Middle East Media Educator, 1(1), 2011, 48-53.