New report reveals how the Middle East leads the way on social media

A new study has unveiled the extent to which how the Middle East utilizes social media for communication and business. 

The report, “Social Media in the Middle East 2022: A Year in Review” was published by the University of Oregon-UNESCO Crossings Institute. Led by Professor Damian Radcliffe, this report is the eleventh in a series of annual studies dating back to 2012. 

This latest study reveals that social media usage is pervasive across the Middle East, with the MENA region leading the way in the take-up and usage of multiple platforms. 

Key findings captured in the study include:

●    Five MENA nations can be seen in the Top 10 for take-up of social networks. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Qatar, have the highest levels of adoption in the world, according to findings published[1] by DataReportal and featured in the report.
●    Globally, social media usage around the world remains at 2019 levels. With one exception: MEA. The Middle East and Africa region surveyed[2] by GlobalWebIndex reveals that users are often on social media for more than three hours a day.

●    The Top 5 countries in the world for reach on YouTube are all in the region.  Lebanon leads the way, followed by Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and UAE. 

●    It’s the same on TikTok. The top five spots for the app – by reach – are all held by Middle East nations (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Iraq). Nine MENA nations are in the Top 20.

●    Nine of the Top 16 nations in the world using Snapchat are in MENA (based on reach), as are five of the Top 20 markets – by total audience size – globally. Bahrain has the highest reach (79.8%) of any national market in the world.

●    Libya has the largest reach for Facebook globally, with 96.1% of those aged 13+ using the social network. Worldwide, Libya is also ranked second in the adoption of Facebook Messenger. Three-quarters of those aged 13+ (75%) use the app.
●    Four MENA nations can be found in the Top 20 for reach on Instagram, while Turkey is now the 5th largest market for Instagram, globally, with nearly 49m users.
●    Three countries in MENA can be found in the Top 20 markets for Twitter; and viewed by market share, the region has five spots in the Top 20. 

Alongside these headline numbers, the report showcases case studies outlining how businesses, governments, NGOs, influencers and celebrities, are using social media. 

“As the most comprehensive and up-to-date study of its kind, this report is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the region’s digital landscape,” Professor Radcliffe said.
“We hope that our findings will help businesses and individuals better understand the social media landscape in the region and develop more effective communication strategies.”  

To access the full report, and the archive of annual studies going back to 2012, please visit: