1 in 3 web users in the Arab world 'Facebook' on a regular basis

Mostafa Ali, Ahram Online, Sunday 14 Aug 2011

A new study shows that more people in the Arab world use and trust Facebook more than mainstream media

Egyptians use Internet cafe to 'log on' (Photo: Reuters)

Sixty million people out of a total population of 350 million in the Arab world use the internet on a regular basis.

A new study by the Mediterranean Institute for Economic Forecast reveals that more than 20 million people in the Arab world regularly use Facebook, the world’s largest social media service.

This means that 1 out of 3 internet users in the Arab world have developed skills to 'Share,’ ‘Like,’ ‘Create Event,’ and use other popular Facebook communication features.

The study showed that many young people in the Arab world trust news that their peers share through Facebook, compared to news that mainstream media reports on.

Thousands of Egyptians and Tunisians used the popular Social Network as a medium to mobilise demonstrations that brought down their respective dictatorships last winter. Meanwhile, activists and the youth have used Facebook to organise for social change from Bahrain to Syria.

According to the study, Egyptians lead the pack in logging on to Facebook, followed by people in Saudi Arabia, Morocco, the Emirates and Tunisia.

Four million Egyptians used Facebook at the turn of 2011 and the number spiked to over five million in the aftermath of the ousting of former dictator Mubarak in February.

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