Arab youth love WhatsApp

Published April 17th, 2016 - 11:33 GMT
Two in three young Arabs (62 per cent) use WhatsApp on a daily basis, according to the survey.  (File photo)
Two in three young Arabs (62 per cent) use WhatsApp on a daily basis, according to the survey. (File photo)

WhatsApp, the instant messaging service owned by Facebook, is the most popular social media platform among youngsters in the Arab world, a recent survey has found.

Currently, there are 1.2 million Facebook users in Oman and 38,800 active users on Twitter.

Furthermore, more young Arabs get their news online than from TV or print media on a daily basis, the poll revealed.

However, with around three million Internet users in the Sultanate and a penetration rate of 66.4 per cent, Oman came fourth among Gulf Cooperation Council countries in terms of the number of Internet users, followed by Qatar with 2 million users and Bahrain with 1.3 million users.

The survey indicated that two in three young Arabs (62 per cent) use WhatsApp on a daily basis followed by Facebook (55 per cent), YouTube (33 per cent), Twitter (28 per cent) and Instagram (28 per cent).

The growing role of social media as a news platform is also apparent, with 52 per cent saying they use Facebook to share interesting news articles they read, up from 41 per cent last year.

Around 32 per cent said they get their daily news online; 29 per cent said they watch television news and just 7 per cent read newspapers daily (down from 13 per cent in 2015).

In spite of the growing use of online media, television remains top in total media consumption with 63 per cent of young Arabs saying they get their news from television (up from 60 per cent the previous year).

The overall use of online news sources has grown from 40 per cent to 45 per cent, with social media up from 25 per cent to 32 per cent.

Only 17 per cent of Arab youth get their news from newspapers now, down from 62 per cent in 2011.

 

© Muscat Media Group

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