Approximately 95% of the UAE’s population today are active internet users with 33% of them spending just under 30 minutes daily on social platforms, and a minority (5%) spending over 4 hours on a daily basis.
Several reasons push people to actively use social media; it connects people together so basically it shortens distances while also providing users with educational content as well as entertainment options.
The UAE population is mostly active on three main social media channels. What are these top social media channels and how are they used?
Facebook is the most used social media channel in the UAE. Every year Facebook has something new to offer. These new features are what make people come back and stay connected with friends and acquaintances.
Each novel feature provided by Facebook gives internet users the chance to share content with others in a creative and engaging way such as the innovative 360 photos and videos.
With the 360 degree photo option, users can share the beauty of a venue or place they love in an immersive way just with a phone.
The like button has also recently evolved by expanding into five different emojis/emotions. It is now called the "reaction button" and it gives Facebook users the opportunity to be more expressive.
On Facebook, users share, upload or like articles, videos or photos but others don’t always have the time to check them right away. Facebook has now given its users the opportunity to save these content for later checking.
All the above new features are what keep Facebook at the forefront of social networking in the UAE. But the most important addition to Facebook is undoubtedly the ability to stream live videos and also share ephemeral stories. These latest updates are extremely popular with UAE users who are now using their mobile phones as "TV stations" to broadcast regular clips and live streams via Facebook.
The second most popular social media platform in the UAE is Instagram. After being bought by Facebook a few years ago, the photo sharing app has witnessed a huge improvement in terms of features and design.
Living in the UAE gives you the opportunity to witness and share new concepts and unique sights which are prime content for Instagram posts. After copying the main features of Snapchat in 2016 (especially the "stories"), Instagram has seen a recent jump in number of users and time spent on the app. It has since widened the gap with Snapchat and is currently the number 1 mobile social app for both expats and Emiratis.
Instagram boasts more than 40% penetration rate in the UAE and its growth is very promising with thousands of new users joining every month.
Over the past years, we have also seen the rise of Instagram influencers in the UAE and these have become an integral part of any digital marketing campaign undertaken by companies and reputable brands.
Twitter has somehow lost its past popularity especially with the massive growth of Instagram. It is still widely used in the UAE especially among users who follow news, politics and other related topics.
An interesting trend specific to the UAE has seen Twitter become a prime tool for customer relationship management. In fact many local companies use Twitter to answer customer complaints. Just visit the Twitter account of key network operators in the UAE and you'll notice it is full of customer requests and comments.
While Twitter has constantly added new features to its platform, we believe it is currently less appealing to the younger audience who prefers to spend time on more entertaining social apps such as Instagram or Snapchat.
For more information of the different social channels available in Dubai and the UAE and how to make the most out of them, do not hesitate to contact the Clouds Media team. We will be glad to assist you with any digital marketing query.