Arab Social Media Report Volume Two: Facebook and Twitter Use 2011

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Volume Two of the Arab Social Media Report, released by the Dubai School of Government's Governance and Social Innovation Program, assesses Facebook and Twitter use in the 22 Arab countries over the first quarter 2011, during the Arab Spring protests. The report assesses Twitter and Facebook penetration rates, attitudes towards social media, and changes in its use surrounding the protests.

Notable Results:

Facebook:

- The protests have led to a rise in Facebook use in the region since the spring.

- Around 85% of users polled on Facebook in March 2011 in Egypt and Tunisia believed that the platform was being used primary for organizing or raising awareness locally or globally about the protests.

- Almost 60% of Facebook users polled in Egypt and Tunisia felt that the main impact of blocking the internet was positive for social movements, because it pushed people to find more creative ways to organize.

- 94% of those polled in Egypt and 88% of those polled in Tunisia said that they used social media to get information about protests, as compared to 85% and 62%, respectively, who said that they used local or private media as an information source.

- The total number of Facebook users in the Arab World has almost doubled from $14.7 million to $27.7 million over the time period from April 2010 to April 2011, with number of users increasing by 30% in the first quarter of 2011 alone.

- The GCC and Lebanon still lead the region in number of Facebook users as a percentage of the population.

Twitter:

- During the first quarter of 2011, Twitter users in the Arabic word sent an estimated three tweets a second.

- The top five countries in terms of Twitter penetration are Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Kuwait, and Lebanon.

- Specific political events in the region- such as Mubarak's departure from Egypt- are marked by spikes in Twitter activity for relevant hashtags.

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