Fifty Three Million and Counting – Facebook’s hold on the Middle East

Based on the latest statistics shared at the Studio Edge event Facebook is the one network to rule them all (unless you’re a keen bird watcher that is)

Facebook came to town last week, and they brought lots of numbers with them. I was lucky enough to be invited along to the first Studio Edge event in the Middle East region. And I was astounded by the numbers that the team kept on rolling out. I’ve summarized these numbers below for you.

According to Facebook’s own research there are fifty three million active Facebook users in the region who use the service at least once a month. Egypt is Facebook’s largest market, followed by Saudi Arabia and then the United Arab Emirates.

Fifty two percent of Facebooks users access the site solely through their desktops and laptops; thirty eight percent use both mobile phones and computers, and ten percent only use their mobiles updating their profile and other Facebook activities. Twenty million people in the Middle East and North Africa are using Facebook today through their smart phones.

The average age of Facebook users in the region is 27 years and 64 percent of MENA users are male. That’s in contrast to the global split of male to female users which is currently 50/50. MENA Facebookers spend approximately seven hours on Facebook a month (that’s double the global average). And fifty two percent of Facebookers in the UAE use Facebook whilst watching television.

Middle East Facebook users like 84 pages compared to the global average of 51, and they view approximately 550 pages a month. Over forty percent of their time is spent on the news feed section of Facebook.

And to top off all of that, Facebook’s user base is growing in excess of 20 percent in the region.

With all of this information above, I’m hoping that we’re going to see more businesses online using the site. But if there was ever any doubt that Facebook is a first-tier consumer communications channel then please do re-evaluate how you use the network and start using the site properly.

One other interesting observation from the Facebook event. Most of the attendees were from advertising and creative agencies. I only spotted one public relations company. And yet, Facebook is all about content. Shouldn’t the Middle East’s PR industry be getting in on the act and promoting the quality of its social media services more?