Social Media in the Middle East: Social News Consumption the Norm for Arab Youth
This is the seventh in a series of ten short extracts from my sixth annual round-up of social media trends from the Middle East and North Africa (written with University of Oregon student Amanda Lam). Social Media in the Middle East: The Story of 2017 is available for download from the University of Oregon Scholars’ Bank and on Scribd, SlideShare and Academia.edu.
Social Networks are a popular means to keep abreast of the news, in the Middle East, as elsewhere, although there are major differences across age groups and countries.
- Facebook is the most popular source for news among young Arabs. The annual Arab Youth survey found 35% of respondents get news on Facebook each day, ahead of online sources (31%), TV news channels and newspapers (9%).
- Arab men and women aged 18 to 24 are also increasingly more likely to share news stories on Facebook. Although frequency wasn’t identified, 64% of this cohort stated they’d shared stories on the social network, up from 41% just two years ago.
Northwestern University in Qatar’s “Media Use in the Middle East” survey, meanwhile, demonstrated national variances in social news usage. Overall, 40% of Arab Nationals in the six countries they studied said they got news from Facebook, ahead of WhatsApp (28%) and YouTube (28%).
- Notable national variances include Instagram leading the pack in Qatar (used by 47% of nationals) as a news source and WhatsApp’s popularity for news (45%) in Saudi Arabia.
Twitter, is the leading social network to get and share news, an activity 77% of MENA tweeps engage in. However, with only 20% penetration, the network lags behind many others as a news platform used by the overall population.
http://www.journalism.org/2017/09/07/news-use-across-social-media-platforms-2017/ and https://www.statista.com/statistics/718019/social-media-news-source/
AYS 2017 — The Middle East: A Region Divided http://arabyouthsurvey.com/pdf/whitepaper/en/2017-AYS-White-Paper.pdf