For many of us in communications in the Middle East, it’s hard to remember a time before social media (I still fondly remember receiving floppy disks with press releases, back in 2006). Social media agency agency The Online Project has dipped its toes into the Kingdom’s digital world to look at how social media behaviors are changing.
The agency, which undertook a similar exercise two years ago, went back to revisit some of its findings from 2013. The report, named Reintroducing Social Saudis, is an incredibly insightful look into what Saudis are doing online. Please do download the report and read it in full (it’s 18 pages in length).
Some of the findings include:,
- Facebook remained the largest social platform in terms of number of users. However, Twitter growth surpassed Facebook by 25% in the past two years.
- Saudi preferences towards social entertainment have been changed through emerging platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.
- Online video has become a key channel for consuming content on all platforms, especially Facebook and Instagram.
- Comedy TV shows and sports are the most popular categories of online watched videos.
- While YouTube remained the main video sharing website Facebook and Instagram’s video growth has shifted the online video scene towards more exposure. Video content is no longer a YouTube exclusive.
- Hashtags usage on Instagram is just as popular on Twitter. Most used hashtags on Instagram shows how the platform is gradually turning into a female community.
The team have also produced simple visuals and a video telling the stories of Mohamed, Ahmed and Sara, your typical Saudi social media users. You can see both below.