According to findings from TNS’s Connected Life study, UAE residents are communicating across social media channels up to five hours a day, and are fast to follow trends.
The study in fact maintains that the UAE ranks ahead of many ‘mature’ markets, particularly when it comes to device-driven services. Recently published results of the study also show UAE users are heavily influenced by what they see and read on digital and social channels, with an increasing number emerging as engaging influencers themselves.
“Internet users in the UAE are very active communicators and many are attracting followers across a variety of channels, including direct communications via instant messaging, email, and video/voice calls,” says Stephen Hillebrand, CEO, Middle East, TNS, a custom market research firm.
“Facebook and YouTube the top contenders, but it is the new-kid-on-the block, WhatsApp that is emerging as the most favoured communication platform of the moment,” he adds.
Whatsapp is gaining traction in the Middle East.
In a separate study conducted by ICT Qatar in October 2014, it was found that WhatsApp is the most popular of the platforms used, with 96% awareness and 87% usage across the board which rises to 98% and 97% respectively for Qataris.
Hillebrand said that Connected Life also reveals details of mobile and traditional device usage, such as radio, newspapers and TV, creating an interesting combination of multi-screening or ‘screen-stacking’ – the use of multiple digital devices at the same time; a relationship that looks to be growing steadily.
“Advertisers must continue to adapt to our changing viewing habits. Online devices are offering more ways to access TV and video content, meaning that brands will need to adopt a more integrated marketing online approach.
The Connected Life study tracked over 55,000 internet users across 50 countries, including in UAE, looking at the digital attitudes and behaviours while exploring how technology is changing the lives of consumers.