BEIRUT: Lebanon is in the top five most active Arab countries across social media networks and achieves the highest rate of female social network users in the region, according to “The Arab Social Media Report” published Wednesday.
The report stated that “in terms of Facebook penetration rate in the region, Qatar now leads the Arab region followed by the UAE, with Jordan, Lebanon and Bahrain rounding out the top five countries.”
The report also stated that women in Lebanon are more active on Facebook than those in any other country in the region, with female users of Facebook in Lebanon 45 percent of total users.
On Twitter, Lebanon ranks sixth in the region, based on the number of residents using the site in the country. Shortcomings with respect to the number of subscribers to the network is compensated by the sheer amount of tweets Lebanon produces, ranking fifth highest in tweets in the Arab world. Once again the amount of female Twitter users is the highest in the region.
While the report cited Twitter accounts of ministries from the GCC, social network platforms for ministries in Lebanon were excluded from the lists.
As for Linkedin, Lebanon ranks fifth with a penetration rate of 7.81 percent, and again has the highest number of female subscribers across the region.
Since 2013 there has been an 8 percent increase in Facebook users in Lebanon, with about 140,000 new subscriptions to the social network.
Social media still favors the young in Lebanon with 60 percent of users falling between the ages of 15 and 29, and 40 percent aged 30 and above.
In spite of the availability of Arabic script, English is still used by 78 percent of Facebook users in the country.
With respect to the region as a whole, internet users in the Arab world reached the global average in 2014, with 82 million users at 22 percent penetration rates.
According to the report, “with internet users in the Arab region finally reaching the global average in 2014 for the first time ever ... suddenly this critical mass has gained access to massive volumes of data and information on every facet of life in their region.”
The report, now in its sixth edition, focused on the impact of online networks and social media on citizen engagement and public service delivery in the Arab region:
“Until more formal citizen engagement channels emerge in Arab societies, social media will continue to play a significant role in enabling better citizen engagement, government responsiveness, increased accountability and wider forms of collaboration for enhancing delivery of public services in the Arab world.”