Saudi tops in Twitter penetration
Riyadh, November 16, 2013
Saudi Arabia has registered the highest Twitter penetration in the world with more than 40 per cent of Internet users in the kingdom on the micro-blogging site, said a report.
According to the survey conducted by BI Intelligence, Saudi topped the global list in terms of the ratio of Twitter use, followed closely by Indonesia in the second place and the Philippines, which came third.
In the Mena region, the UAE ranked second in terms of the number of Twitter users with 1.7 million accounts, followed by Kuwait and Qatar.
Information security expert Ammar Mardawi, the executive director of Kindi Company, attributed the rapid spread of Twitter in Saudi Arabia to three main reasons, most notably the availability of high-speed Internet and smart mobile devices.
Smart phone penetration in the kingdom exceeds 72 per cent, he stated.
Secondly, the hot climate makes the Internet in general, and social networking sites in particular, a real resort for the youth. Third, a large group of journalists, intellectuals and athletes, as well as foreigners residing in the Kingdom, use Twitter network to communicate with each other and discuss various social and local issues and developments in the Arab world.
"These factors and others have contributed to the creation of more than a million new accounts on Twitter during the past year alone. Perhaps we will witness a similar increase next year that will keep Saudi Arabia among the top countries in terms of Internet penetration," he added.
Similar studies have confirmed earlier the rapid growth of web-based social communication platforms, especially Twitter, in Saudi Arabia, home to more than half of the active users in the region.
Mardawi predicted the Saudi presence on various social networking sites to enrich the Arabic content and increase its industry, especially as more than 90 per cent of Saudis prefer to read and watch content in Arabic than in foreign languages, pointing out that more than 90 million video clips are viewed daily on YouTube in Saudi Arabia alone.
The IB Intelligence study also found that one-third of Internet users in India, or more than 36 million, use Twitter, making India the third largest Twitter market worldwide after the US and China.
In China, the most populous country in the world, there are 84.4 million Twitter users on, a relatively high figure considering that the network is officially banned in that country. However, Twitter penetration does not constitute a large percentage compared to the total number of Internet users in China.-TradeArabia News Service