The latest statistics claim that the number of Facebook users in the UAE grew +9% between January and May 2014. This growth is among the lowest in the Arab region indicating a relative maturity and high penetration for the most popular social network in the UAE.
Compared to Iraq (+25%), Qatar (+24%) or Egypt (+15%), the UAE proves once again that it has one of the most advanced internet population with a penetration estimated at 90%.
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YouTube is increasingly attracting users from the entire world and according to Google, Saudi Arabia has the largest share of users per capita.
Statistics show that more than 1 billion users visit YouTube each month and Saudi Arabia encounters around 90 million YouTube views every day which is the highest number of viewers in the world. Smart phones are gradually penetrating the market and are mostly used by Saudis to watch You Tube videos. Another YouTube fact is that in KSA more than 60 hours of video clips are uploaded in one minute.
What are the reasons behind these facts and what is attracting the Saudis to spend the majority of their time online and specifically on YouTube?
Many factors are contributing in the rise of YouTube in KSA. Here are some of these factors:
- Demographic factors: 70% of Saudi Arabia’s population is under 30 years old. This youthful population is surfing YouTube on a daily basis searching for relevant drama, comedy, sports and news.
- Accessibility of Internet: Internet is available in all Saudi Arabia and Saudis are accessing YouTube through their smart phones.
- Non Availability of entertainment sources: public entertainment is almost scarce in KSA. People are searching for amusement on the Internet because they don’t have public movie theaters, nightclubs don’t exist, and many western programs are restricted.
There are many restrictions in Saudi Arabia that Saudis want to escape. YouTube is helping people to live, communicate, have fun and discover what their government is forbidding them from.
Imad Karam, CEO
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