The survey asked users about their behaviour for social networking sites in terms of number of accounts, total time spent online, and favourite networks. The resultant statistics confirmed the dominance of certain social networks over others and the prevalence they have among different segments of Arab society in various countries.
The results also drove home the amount of time spent on social networks, which proved to be varying from one user to another, however, indicating an overall rise in the space of time allocated by Arab users to the Internet in general, and to social media in particular, a fact which is attributed to the growingly sophisticated IT infrastructure available at a low cost as a result of the heated competition existing between service providers across Arab countries.
Users who spend less than one hour per day on social networks account for around 17% of total respondents, according to the survey, while 32% spend less than 3 hours, 24% less than 5 hours, 11% less than 8 hours, with 14% of the respondents saying they spend more than 8 hours a day.
These results provide a reasonable justification for the rapidly-growing phenomenon of "influencers" within different sectors and fields. Those influencers represent a true competitor to the traditional and digital advertising market, and rather make up their own hidden market whose dimensions cannot be measured accurately or in a scientific manner.
The results also confirmed the rapid transformation witnessed across various production and service sectors which depend on social networks to promote their products and services at an affordable marketing cost that is much less than that required by traditional advertising.
The Social Media Summit Middle East is the oldest and largest such gathering in the Arab region. It has already held eight different editions in the UAE and Jordan, in addition to several workshops, training courses, and consulting and strategy-building events, and recently announced its expansion to Saudi Arabia and North Africa.