The 100 Most Influential Arabs on Twitter

by Khaled El Ahmad, January 24, 2012

Twitter is one of the hottest social networks around, a place where you go to engage with thought leaders, top officials and celebrities. I once read that “Facebook is for people you went to school with. Twitter is for people you wish you went to school with.”

Twitter now has over 300 million people tweeting 250 million tweets per day. There are 652,33 Active Twitter users (who tweet at least once a month) in the greater Middle East, according to the 3rd Arab Social Media Report.

Arabic accounts for 1.2% of all public tweets, and Arabic tweets have grown in volume over the past year at a staggering rate of 2,146%, according to Paris-based firm Semiocast, as The Next Web reports.  

When it comes to influence, Twitter lists have been generated to measure who has the highest number of followers, but is the number of followers an indication? Or there are other measurements?

Klout is one website that claims to accurately measure a person’s online influence, using 35 different variables on Facebook and Twitter to measure “true reach,” which is the size of your engaged audience, based on the number of followers and friends who actively listen and react to your messages.

It also measures “amplification score,” which is the likelihood that your messages will generate actions (retweets, @messages, likes and comments).

Another metric is your “network score,” which indicates how influential your engaged audience and gives users a total score out of 100. This algorithm uses data points that include your followers, re-tweets, list memberships, your engagement with other users, their influence, mentions, and whether accounts that follow you are just spam accounts.

Klout also deducts points if you are absent from Twitter or Facebook, so it is a decent indication of how active you are online.

There have been few attempts to list top Arabs on Twitter, but often these lists only ranked users by the number of followers. While this is one way to look at it, I think it should be based on multiple variables that measure online influence, a bit closer to what Klout is doing.

So I put together a list of the Most Influential Arabs on Twitter according to their Klout score.

This is how I compiled the list:

I used websites like to find the top 50 Twitter users in the major Arab countries.

I also collected the top Twitter users

I then took only those users who have a score of 59 and up, and took the top 100 scores descending from 100 down. Bear in mind that while this list was compiled on Saturday, January 21st, 2012, it’s an evolving entity, as these scores are variables. So it could fluctuate according to a given user's level of engagement. 

(If your Klout score is 59 and up please let me know so I can add you to my broader list:!/Shusmo/top-arab-influencers/members.)

You can dowload the entire pdf on Wamda here or view the list below.

Here are some statistics about the list:

38% of the Top Tweeps are from KSA. Egypt comes in second with 30%.

The media sector is the dominant profession for the Top tweeps with 62%, While politics came in second at 16%.

The majority of Top Tweeps are male, while only 14% of the total list of 100 were female.



Khaled Elahmad is a Social Media Instructor in the Middle East. He can be found on Twitter @shusmo.




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Jure Snoj , Wed 15.02.2012
First of all, great work on assembling the list!
How do you find these tools that assess influence? I have to say that I'm somewhat sceptical sometimes. Let's take an example of Queen Rania vs. Ferjat Mahjoub. The Queen of Jordan has 1.880.000 followes and a klout score of 66, while Ferjat has 3.000 followers and a klout score of 69. Now we all agree that followers are not the only indication. However the contrast in follower numbers is just too great for me to believe that Ferjat is more influential than Queen Rania.

But let's say that it's true. I have another take on the list - it might be worth expanding it beyond people, as organizations have influence as well and such a list might better reflect the TOP 100 list - for example @AJEnglish has a clout score of 78.

Anyways, again congrats and tnx for the great work you put in to assemble this list.
Khaled El Ahmad , Sat 18.02.2012
Thank you Jure,

Klout scores online influence via variables that measures your level of engagement. Klout also measures how successful are you in getting your content reach new 2nd and 3rd and 4th circles outside your domain. (ripple effect)

So while celebrities have inherited offline fan base, Klout mostly measures how engaged are you with your online community.

I'm actually working on different Lists and thanks for the tip :-)
Hashem Zahran , Thu 26.01.2012
Great Job Khaled... I was shocked by the fact that there is only 14% of females, I believe that means we are still on top :D
Khaled El Ahmad , Thu 26.01.2012
This will change pretty soon, internationally women are slightly more engaged on Social Media than men :-)
Haitham Al-Sheeshany , Wed 25.01.2012
Khaled is without a doubt a major reference point/tweep for me, I rely on his vast knowledge regarding Twitter as well as many other hosts of matters. He ALWAYS provides timely answers and directs toward useful links that will aid.

Thank you Khaled.
Khaled El Ahmad , Wed 25.01.2012
Thank you Haitham :-)

It gives me joy to be able to serve my extended online family :-)

Michael Salem , Tue 24.01.2012
Excellent article. Khaled is a true visionary person when it comes to Social Media. In today's e-social-world, the list above truly represents the influence of people, more than anything else. For the Arab world in particular, compiling such a list surrounded with good insight article shows me that people are paying closer attention to the way we are influenced, spread news, develop, and grow.
Khaled El Ahmad , Tue 24.01.2012
Thanks Michael for the supportive words :-)
Said Hamideh , Tue 24.01.2012
Hi Khaled. I've got good news for you. You are also on this list! I'm saying this in case you overlooked that fact. ;)
Khaled El Ahmad , Tue 24.01.2012
Am I? lol

I was thinking should I add myself or not, and then because Klout score is automatically generated I said what da heck ;-)
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