Most popular Social Media in the MENA is ‘WhatsApp’

A recent study commissioned by the UAE government found that about 41 % of social media users in the Arab world preferred to communicate via WhatsApp.

Social media usage in the Middle East has steadily been growing over the last few years, aided by rising smartphone penetration rate and increasing broadband access in the region.

WhatsApp was thus named the most popular social networking website in the Arab World eclipsing other major website such as Facebook and Twitter, as this new report revealed.

Around 41 % of social media users in the Arab world preferred to communicate via WhatsApp over other networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Lebanon and Sudan saw the highest acceptance rate in WhatsApp with 58 % and 50 % of the respondents.  Jordan had the lowest acceptance rate at 18 % and generally nearly 89 % of the polled users had access to WhatsApp, the report said but closely followed by Facebook with 39 %.

Facebook was found to be the most popular in Jordan with 63 %.

Meanwhile, the favourability of Facebook dipped in the Gulf countries to just 24 % of regulars users in Saudi Arabia.

Instagram was the third popular social media site in the Arab World with six % of users in its favour.  It had the highest acceptance rate in countries such as the UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain at 11 % each.

YouTube also gets lower favourability rates with just 5 % of users in the region whilst it is most popular in Qatar and Bahrain at 11 % and 9 % respectively.

Twitter was the least preferred social media site with just 4 % of regular users.  The highest preference for the microblogging site was noted in Saudi Arabia and the UAE with 12 % and 8 % respectively.