Facebook and Twitter gain more users in Saudi Arabia

Facebook and Twitter recorded sharp increases in numbers of users from Saudi Arabia while Linkedin remained relatively unpopular

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A recent study examining the state of the social media in the Kingdom noted a remarkable increase in the use of mobiles to access various social media accounts. It also documented a sharp increase in the number of Facebook and Twitter users while Linkedin still stays behind.

The number of Facebook users in the Kingdom was six million in 2012, this number reached 7.8 million in 2013, with five million of them accessing their accounts from mobiles.

Infographic: Social media in Saudi Arabia
Infographic: Social media in Saudi Arabia

The same study stated that 73 percent of twitter users access their accounts through mobiles. The number of twitter users hit five million in 2013 from three million in 2012, with an annual growth of 45 percent.

The statistics released by The Social Clinic in cooperation with The Loft Creative Hub stated in its findings that twitter penetration of internet users in the kingdom is “the highest in the world.”

Tweets coming from the Kingdom were 150 million per month, 85 percent of which are written in Arabic while top days for tweeting were Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Religious figures remained the top tweets in the Kingdom. Mohammad al-Arefi topped the list with 7.5 million followers, second on the list is Aid al-Qarni who has over 5.1 million, Followed by Ahammad al-Shugairi with 5 million and Salman al-Odah who has 4 million followers.

According to the study, 74 percent of Facebook users are men, while the largest age group on the site is between 26 and 34. Riyadh the capital accounts for 46 percent of Facebook accounts followed by Jeddah which has 28 percent of Facebook registered users.

Only 49 percent of content is written in Arabic, the study noted. Top Facebook brands include: Flynas, STC, Macdonald’s, Extra, Jarir, Mubily, Saudia, Souk, Toyota and Panda.

Linkedin, the professional social network remained unpopular compared to Facebook and Twitter. The number of Linkedin users reached 800,000 in 2012, and now hit 1 million. Only 330,000 of which access their accounts from mobile.

The top skills registered on the site include: management, sales and training. Men account for 87 percent of Linkedin accounts in the Kingdom, revealed the study. Top universities include King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals, King Saud University, and King Abdulaziz University. Top companies are Aramco, SABIC and STC.

The study stated that 44 percent of Linkedin users registered from the Kingdom are at the entry level, while 6 percent are in director level. The top industries include construction, oil & energy followed by health care.

Youtube still reserved its status as a preferred video site in the Kingdom. The daily viewed videos remained 90 million per day just like 2012. Each Internet user in the Kingdom watches an average of 7 videos per day, the study showed. The top channels include: Eysh Elly, Sa7i, Al-Timsah and La-Yikthar.

This article as first published in the Saudi Gazette.