How the Middle East uses Instagram
The visual orientated social network continues to grow fast in take-up and influence
High rates of take-up and reach
The Middle East is home to some of the largest markets, as a percentage of population, for Instagram, including Turkey (3rd at 56%), Kuwait (6th and 54%) and Bahrain (10th at 50%.)
Data from We Are Social also reveals that Turkey is the sixth largest market for Instagram worldwide, with 37 million members.
More people use Instagram in Turkey than Japan (27m), United Kingdom (23m), Mexico (22m) and Germany (20m). The biggest markets, based on users, are the USA (116m), India (73m), Brazil (72m), Indonesia (60m) and Russia (42m).
Usage of Instagram has grown from 6% of Arab Nationals in 2013, to 42% at the end of 2019.
Research from Northwestern University in Qatar shows that — of services owned by Facebook — take-up of Instagram has been the fastest.
Saudi Arabia is working with Instagram Influencers
As StepFeed noted:
“A key goal under Vision 2030 is to increase the number of tourists who visit Saudi Arabia.”
“It’s true that much of that number comes from religious tourism, but that doesn’t mean effort hasn’t been put into the growth of the leisure tourism sector.”
“A program like Gateway KSA would have been inconceivable in Saudi Arabia five years ago, when religious police roamed the streets shouting at women to cover up,” Bloomberg stated.
“Now the kingdom is eager to use social media to show a softer side,” adding that “more than 200 people have visited through the program so far…their costs are covered, though they don’t receive any other fees.”
A Royal Visit
Another high profile visitor to the MENA region, Prince William, embarked on a four-day solo trip to Kuwait and Oman in early December 2019.
MENA debut’s Instagram AR filters
Almarai, a Saudi-based conglomerate, which specializes in food and beverage manufacturing and distribution, launched the first Middle East’s first ever branded Instagram AR filter for Saudi National Day.
“Instagram opened its platform for brands to launch AR lenses in early August,” their website records, with Alamarai launching its AR experience the following month.
By following a link from their phone, users could overlay colors of the Saudi flag and fun 3D KSA glasses over pictures of themselves.
This is an extract from a 55-page report about the trends if social media in the Middle East during 2019. You can access the full report here: https://scholarsbank.uoregon.edu/xmlui/handle/1794/25119