A Busy Week for Facebook
This week has been an eventful Facebook week, “coincidentally” following on from the release of new social network Google+ last week. The main highlights of the week;
Arabic to overtake English as number 1 language in Middle East
Following a recent study commissioned by Middle Eastern PR agency Spot On PR, results have indicated that within a year, users in the Middle East will be using Facebook in Arabic more than any other language. Up till now users in the Middle East have used the site mainly in English, but following recent events in the region and general growth, statistics now show Facebook’s Arabic interface has grown 175% a year, while Algeria alone saw a 423% increase. Other interesting statistics showed that the 10 million users that use the site in Arabic, make up 35% of the region’s overall Facebook usage (up from 24% last year). The results also showed that 56% use the Arabic interface in Egypt, 41% in GCC countries, 61% in Saudi Arabia, however, the UAE showed only 10% usage in Arabic due to its large expat population. According to the MENA Facebook Digest, the Middle East and North Africa saw 19 million new users during the past year, with a growth rate of 51%.
Mark Zuckerberg announces 750 million users on Facebook
Facebook are pulling out all the stops in the wake of Google+ being released last week. Mr Zuckerberg announced during a press conference last Wednesday; “The metric of the last five years was about user growth. The driving narrative of the next five years is not about wiring up the world, but what cool stuff (apps) can you build with this wiring in place. We did not report 750 million because we do not believe it is the metric.” This announcement follows reports that Facebook lost around 6 million users in the U.S. and 1.5 million in Canada during the month of May.
Facebook & Skype team up for video chat
Finally, Facebook has teamed up with Skype to bring you video chat. This feature is one of a few improvements to Facebook’s lacklustre chat function, announced on Wednesday. The feature will allow Facebook users to engage in video conferencing through chat, and will be rolled out to 70 countries gradually. However, if you are eager to try this feature now, you can try it out here.