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The Arab Social Media Report-Edition #4

The Arab Social Media Report-Edition #4

Published on: July 2012​
Genre: Media (including Social Media)​ Category: Future Government and Innovation​
The passionate debate on the impact of social media in the Arab world has continued throughout 2011 and 2012. However, it has largely moved beyond the classical polarized perception of the rigid paradigms of technologically deterministic’ views and the overly-romanticized ‘people power’ ones. The healthy debate that has dominated policy discourses for more than a year has finally shifted the question of the societal impact of social media usage from the “if” to the “how”, “why” and “what next”. Throughout the past two years, the Arab Social Media Report series has been a key contributor to this global debate, providing the only regional source of quantitative research on the growth and usage trends of social media in the Arab region, coupled with exploratory qualitative surveys that dig deeper into regional perceptions regarding the impact of social media in Arab societies. The findings of the report series covered topics varying from the impact of social media on freedom of expression and media consumption behaviors, to its empowerment of youth and women, and its role in popular civic movements. In this fourth issue of the report, we focus on exploring the societal and cultural transformations taking place in the Arab region, influenced by the continuing exponential growth of social media. In this edition of the report we provide regional statistics on more social networking platforms, in addition to Facebook and Twitter; including for the first time, analysis on LinkedIn. The findings of the regional survey provided here aims to measure emerging perceptions of social media users in the Arab World on identity and culture, a topic that is closely linked with several critical policy questions in the region, and begs for more research on a regional and individual society levels.
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