Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dr. Tony Proudian, PAN Arab Research Center Program title: Social Media around the World: What's the Buzz?

Presenter's title: Research Highlights on Global Social Media: Focus on Saudi Arabia

The research project that I'm presenting today was done as part of WIN's (Worldwide Independent Network on Market Research) global research efforts.  Our two previous studies have analyzed the impact of the worldwide economic crisis and the effects of the swine flu epidemic.  Our third study concentrates on social media.  This survey was conducted in 27 countries between March 1st and April 7th,, 2010, using a mix of tools (online, phone, face to face) and collecting 22,000 responses. 

By June 2010, Internet World Statistics shows an estimated 2 billion Internet users (28% of the world's population), 800 million of which are in Asia.  We found that in Saudi Arabia, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are leading in usage: there are 2.5 million Facebook users in the KSA.  News and browsing are the two most popular activities for those over 26 years of age; the youngest users (16-24) are most active in social online activities.  Males are more active than females, and the mobile social networking networking apps are the fastest growing.  The limitations that users see to these technologies are the speed and reliability of the connections, and these were mentioned by 10-20% of those surveyed; 16% also wish for better interfaces.  The most popular activities reported were: browsing, blogging, video, downloading and uploading and shopping.  Browsing and blogging and job searching are mostly done by males older than 26 years old.  In Saudi Arabia, users prefer browsing and uploading media, especially music (once a day) and videos (at least monthly).  

In closing I would like to emphasize that social media is a phenomenon that we can't run away from... it's a new language: we hear the constant "teck teck", but all we can see is the body language, without other human sounds.  We need to use it for the good of our society before it is used against us.


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