Guest blog post from Feras Hilal of The Online Project Ever wondered when’s the best time to engage with your Facebook fans and Twitter followers during Ramadan? We did too. And to help brands in the region, we’ve delved into the differences between the user habits on Facebook and Twitter during the Holy Month. Ramadan has a significant impact on people’s behaviors and daily routine in the Middle East. The pressure now is on brand managers and social media strategists who need to know the differences between their audiences, and make adjustments to their marketing messages accordingly.
Our colleagues in the US have put together a fantastic summary of some of the today in the deck below. Here in the Middle East, we’re increasingly focusing our attention on the importance of mobile and how that shapes interaction with our clients’ stories on social media and beyond. Another key trend is the convergence of paid, owned and earned media – something any brand or organization embracing social media today should consider.
Here are the latest global trends! In this issue, the UAE trends are mentioned in 3 sections – social media, technology & digital and culture. The third edition of The Quarterly is the JCPR report covering the latest trends from around the globe including social media, technology & digital, brand & marketing, culture, good purpose, fashion & luxury, retail, food & drink, health & beauty and travel. These reports come from colleagues from across the world including UK, Germany, USA, Canada, Mexico, Africa, Belgium, Netherlands, UAE, India, Singapore, China and Australia.
**First **** LinkedIn **MENA office opens in UAE Exciting news for the Middle Eastern business world this week as LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network with more than 175 million members worldwide, announced the opening of its first office in the Middle East and North Africa. Located in Dubai’s Internet City, the office will serve as regional headquarters to over five million members in the Middle East and North Africa, one million of which are based in the UAE, where a team of approximately half a dozen will support the growing membership and client base.
A dirty QWERTY, regional social TV, Facebook postcards and top-Tweeting cities? It must be time for our weekly wrap-up! Social TV UAE based companies Arabi on TV and SkyGrid have collaborated to develop Touch TV – the first free application to watch TV shows on Facebook, according to a report in Gulf News. The app, which works on all major operating systems, is designed to tap into the way people in the region access social networking sites for entertainment.
Is Facebook dying? In its first report as a public company last week, Facebook announced that it has lost $157m from April to June. Shares have now fallen to a new low of $23.71 compared to the initial price of $38 when Facebook first became listed on the Nasdaq in May. On top of this, it has been estimated that Facebook has over 83 million illegitimate accounts, adding to the growing concern about the effectiveness of Facebook as a marketing and advertising platform.
A big shout out this week goes to Matthew Weiner, he is the prodigy behind Mad Men. This week AMC aired the season 5 finale of Mad Men. I highly, highly, highly recommend everyone (especially those that work at an agency) to watch the show. Aside from the show’s talented cast, excellent costume designer and dramatic story line, Mad Men perfectly depicts the agency life like no other TV show or movie in Hollywood – especially in terms of handling clients, staff and everyday work life.
Following a recent Arabian Bytes post looking at Facebook use in the Arab world, we have come across this rather nice infographic by Shusmo looking at Twitter use in the region: Image source: Mashable Created in March 2012 using data from a Dubai School of Government report on Arab Social Media, the infographic shows that there is total of 1,311,882 active Twitter users in the Arab world. KSA is the country with the highest proportion of Twitter users with 393,000 marked as active, followed by Kuwait with 235,000 and Egypt with 215,000 users.
Does everybody know what time it is? For my American friends it is not Home Improvement’s ‘tool time’, but it’s our favorite TWTW time! This week’s TWTW has a particular theme and I am sure has been a popular talking piece – it’s Mark Zuckerberg and everyone’s guilty pleasure Facebook. Facebook CEO rings opening bell on IPO day On Friday May 18thMark Zuckerberg became a billionaire from the Facebook IPO. In the early hours of the IPO day, Mark rang the opening Nasdaq bell from Facebook’s HQ in Menlo Park, California.
MEPRA, The Middle East Public Relations Association held a social media forum at the Westin Hotel in Dubai last week to discuss the state of social media in the public relations industry. The forum featured speakers who were present to deliver introductory sessions into the world of social media and its uses within the communications industry. With a room full of aspiring social media gurus, the audience was in for a treat.
In the wake of Facebook’s stock market flotation on Friday, here is a neat infographic by Khaled El Ahmed detailing the use of Facebook in the Arab world so far this year. Source: Wamda Facebook use in the Arab world has grown exponentially over the last few years, with an approximate total of 43 million Arabic speaking users today. According to the infographic Egypt is leading the forefront, with users in May 2012 totaling 10,643,740; this is followed by KSA with 5,333,360 total users.
Years ago, simply having an online presence was enough for one-way broadcasting and distribution of information. Today, the explosion of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and many more are driving new forms of social interaction between brands and customers. As a result, there has been a hugely growing demand on becoming social as almost all companies are exploring how they can use these tools most effectively. But the question remains – which channels are right for each brand?
It’s the day every little girl dreams of. Her wedding day. The biggest day of her life. A day planned to perfection. From ‘the dress’, to the flowers; from the music to the fold of the napkins. Everything has to be thought of. So when I became engaged in the middle of last year, it didn’t take very long before I found myself with a second job. PR manager by day; wedding planner extraordinaire by night; and there was my new fiancé thinking that he’d done his bit by actually plucking up the courage to propose!
“You know, I have one simple request. And that is to have sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their frickin’ heads! Now evidently my cycloptic colleague informs me that that cannot be done. Ah, would you remind me what I pay you people for, honestly? Throw me a bone here!” Dr Evil may not the greatest role model one could have but I absolutely share his passion for toys. I love technology and always have.
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.
Oh, such a dramatic week. First, Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs – now known to have had an affair with Welsh model Imogen Thomas – put his foot in it by attempting to sue Twitter after some of its users posted his name despite the fact he had taken out an injunction preventing UK media from naming him. The only problem is that it caused so much outrage that Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming used parliamentary priveleges to name him anyway.
Prominent Emirati commentator and journalist Sultan Al Qassemi. With such a huge following on Twitter, was he tweeting updates during the Arab Media Forum? The tenth Arab Media Forum kicked off this morning in the presence of 2,400 media personalities and experts from the Middle East region, and Arabian Bytes was there to catch all the action from Day One. After being officially opened by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the two-day forum – which is taking place at the Grand Hyatt Dubai – began with a keynote speech by Egypt’s Minister of Culture, Emad Abu Ghazi (who attended after Egypt’s post-revolution Prime Minister, Essam Sharaf, apparently pulled out at the last minute).
There is never a shortage of news in the digital realm, and this week was no exception. Here were some of the landmarks this week: Microsoft Buys Skype Photo taken by Johannes Hemmerlein under the freedom of panorama And so it’s official, Microsoft has brought the video conferencing site for a reported $8.5 billion. Microsoft has clearly expressed the potential of Skype for both consumer and business customers. Read more here
Last Saturday, May 7 I was one of the lucky attendees of TedxAlAin which took place at the Municipality Theatre in Al Ain. When I first heard about the event I was immediately intrigued. I’ve never been to Al Ain, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. As soon as the bus pulled in to the city I knew I was in for a great experience. I was taken aback by the aesthetics of the city – in complete contrast to the fast paced lifestyle of cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Al Ain is scenic, green and relaxed.
So, it has been quite the Walt Disney week, hasn’t it? A royal wedding, a papal beatification, and the death of a prominent terrorist. Introducing the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Last Friday’s British royal wedding was reportedly watched by 2 billion people worldwide, which shows a 1.25 billion increase in 30 years since Prince Charles’ wedding to Lady Diana. When it comes to social media; the U.S.A generating most of the social media buzz (55.
Hot off the launch of Facebook for Journalists, Facebook has moved on to a different constituent, this time advertisers. The company is now hoping to create a better and more lucrative relationship with advertisers via a brand new stand alone community site called “Facebook Studio“. This new channel on Facebook allows advertisers and users to view advertisements by a variety of big-name brands, and interact with them through the traditional Facebook features (i.
So I would like to start off by making two statements. Number one: Yes, Facebook is a company that you can actually work for. And two: No, I was not featured in the Social Network movie – I joined quite a while after those alleged events took place. Abu Dhabi was, however, somewhere I never expected to be this time last year when I was getting ready for my first day at Facebook.
The week that was: Another week; another fresh face. I am one of the newest members to the ever-expanding Digital team here in Dubai. When I’m not being an uber nerd and soaking up anything and everything social-media and technology-related, I’m probably out with friends checking in somewhere on foursquare or break-dancing. Or both. Zuckerberg hosts Obama This week, Facebook hosted America’s one-and-only Barack Obama in an interview at the Paulo Alto Facebook headquarters.
On April 5, Justin Osofsky, Director of Media Partnerships at Facebook, announced through a blog post: _“_Today we’re launching a new Journalists on Facebook page to serve as an ongoing resource for the growing number of reporters using Facebook to find sources, interact with readers, and advance stories.” Essentially, the people at Facebook are extending an olive branch to journalists, with whom they have often had a rocky relationship. To say that Facebook and the press have had a complicated relationship since the social network’s launch over seven years ago is probably an understatement.
It is obvious to say that social media has become a force to be reckoned with in the engine we call mass communication. What wasn’t so “obvious”, however, was exactly how powerful Facebook, Twitter and YouTube would one day become. I started working for Facebook a year ago, and little did I know what this year would have in store. Throughout my various interviews for the first Arabic role at Facebook Dublin, I constantly reiterated the importance of allowing people an open forum to speak freely and honestly.
We here at Arabian Bytes have of course been watching the situation in Egypt unfold with great interest, and have especially noted the growing power of social media to shape these events. Rest assured we’ll be posting more about Egypt, Tunisia and the importance of social media soon so stay tuned. In the meantime, we wanted to turn our attention to a “what not to do” case study of hijacking a hashtag.
I attended my second Tweetup last night at the Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi. My first experience with a tweetup was actually my second day in Abu Dhabi, and it was a great way to meet people in my new hometown to answer many of my “newbie” questions. When I mentioned that I was going to a “tweetup,’ I got a lot of quizzical looks from people. Yes, it sounds a little geeky, but once you get to the event, you quickly realize there’s a lot more behind the 48×48 pixel icon.
Mashable.com released a lovely infographic about the history of social media that got us here at Arabian Bytes reminiscing about the very first social networks we started using regularly. Image courtesy of Flickr, rishibando, as seen on Mashable.com Do you remember the first website that got you all excited about connecting to others across the world? Or the first chatting service you were hooked on, whilst other family members complained about how the telephone was never free to use anymore (RIP the humble dial-up modem).
Ben Flanagan from The National recently wrote an interesting article about Middle Eastern social networking sites. Do you think a local website can be as big as an international one in the Middle East? Let us know your thoughts. Article Excerpt – Click here for the full article Local social networks have home advantage in taking on big boys By Ben Flanagan There are more than 600 million faces on Facebook, and the number of regular users is expected to rise to 1 billion in the next few years.