Digital Media Science (DMS) the leading digital media research and intelligence company in the MENA region, released its annual 2014 report on internet and so-cial media usage. The findings provide new insights and statistics on user habits and trends on the internet and social networks in the Arab region.
“It is always a challenge for global players to find a valid and reliable source of in-formation about online media in the MENA region. At Digital Media Science, we are enabling them to get a closer insight on their online customers’ attitudes, behaviors, and engagement motivations,” said Karim El-Sedawy, CEO, Digital Media Science.
The research conducted is focused on the 42 per cent of the MENA population which ac-cesses the web. With closer attention on social media: 88 per cent of MENA internet users use social networks; with 10 Million tweets produced in the region, and 94 per cent of users on Facebook. The company produced even more thorough data analysis of the demographics of the users in the MENA region. The company concluded that 65 per cent of social media users are male, and 36 per cent of social media users are aged 18-25 years old. This research is especially useful to analyze the influence social media has in the MENA region on market trends, current news and politics.
The majority of users in the region spend 3 – 7 hours online. Consequently, e-commerce has significantly increased and the performance has been monitored by DMS to a great extent. The company explains how 53 per cent of online shoppers are above 35 years old, of which 47 per cent are debit cards users, 43 per cent are credit cards users and 28 per cent use cash. This study provides evidence of the continuing emergence of the e-commerce industry in the region, and the importance of understanding the usage of customers online. Abdul Latif Jameel Financial Services’ Toyota Unit Sees 6 Times Return on Investment with Facebook Ads campaigns.
Country-specific research was conducted on the activity in Egypt. There are 40 Mil-lion Internet users in Egypt with a 46 per cent penetration. Of these users, 22 Million are Facebook users, dominating only 520,000 active twitter accounts. With 90 per cent of so-cial media users on Facebook, the company holds the top influence in the country with 69 per cent male users, and 45 per cent aged 18-25. These statistics are particularly useful in Egypt, as national and global actors continue to strive for attention online.
With increased activity, DMS has focused on the top research topics, and followed the trends of the users online. The results proved that the top search categories are jobs, sports, travel, food and news in the respective order. To compliment this re-search, insights on the 258 Million daily Youtube views in the MENA region proved that the most viewed categories in Egypt are 17 per cent politics/news, 19 per cent entertainment, and 29 per cent music. Additionally, 64 per cent of social media users in Egypt are influenced by their friends online to watch entertainment content. The ‘viral’ context in this research seemed to fit the current campaign goals in the market, relying on entertaining internet users to share their experiences with their online friends for publicity.
Following their research, DMS notes the opportunity of growth in social media mo-bile users in Egypt. There are currently 99.6 Million active mobile subscriptions in Egypt. This includes 12.6 Million active social media mobile users in Egypt, of which 23 per cent have 3G connections. Whilst in the MENA region, a collective 93v of Middle East Smartphone’s users use their smart phones at home. DMS predicts a growth in these figures in 2015, as users become more familiar with the variety of online services. Furthermore, 43 per cent of Facebook users in Egypt Second Screens while watching TV. This involves the audiences sharing their thoughts and opinions on their mobiles/tablets as they are watching a certain channel which creates an opportunity for market players to monitor their intended audiences’ perceptions online.