UAE leads region in Twitter growth

Study by local PR firm reveals there are more than 12,000 users from the Arab world registered with the micro-blogging service

Tags: Micro-bloggingSocial networkingUnited Arab EmiratesWeb 2.0
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UAE leads region in Twitter growth (Getty Images)
By  Vineetha Menon Published  July 20, 2009

There are more than 12,000 Twitter users in the Arab world, a study by local PR firm Spot On has revealed, reflecting a surge in the micro-blogging site’s popularity in the region.

According to the agency’s analysis of registered Twitter accounts across the Middle East and Africa region, Twitter growth has increased from 100% to close to 300% over the past few months.

At the end of 2008, the GCC had less than one thousand Twitter users in total but now has more than 8,200 registered users. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have the three largest Twitter communities, accounting for 1,741 users, 1,405 users and 4,952 users respectively.

“There has been a good deal of hype surrounding Twitter, but now we can see from current usage and growth patterns that Twitter is starting to make its presence felt across the region,” said Carrington Malin, managing director of Spot On Public Relations.

“We’re also seeing changes in demographics, as Twitter becomes more broad-based in appeal, spurred on an increasing number of global news stories quoting Twitter or Twitter sources,” added Malin.“Whereas the MENA Twitter community was largely the domain of Internet professionals last year, 2009 has seen great numbers of people from other professions join Twitter, and from communications, media and marketing professions in particular. That has led to Twitter ‘hitting above its weight’ both in terms of media influence and search engine impact.”

The UAE vice president, prime minister and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, recently signed on to Twitter and already has more than 3,300 followers.

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