Dubai, UAE – UAE residents spend approximately five hours a day using social media on average and 29% have six to 10 applications installed on their smartphones according to new research from YouGov.
The findings, captured amongst over 5,000 residents in the UAE, revealed that the time spent on social media varies depending on age group. Young users (aged 18-35) spend from two to six hours per day, while older users (aged 36-55) spend 30 minutes to two hours per day.
The majority of the UAE population uses Facebook (82%) the most regularly (several times a week), followed by YouTube (58%) and LinkedIn (26%). Flickr, Foursquare, Reddit and Tumblr are the least regularly used social media sites, accessed by less than 2% of respondents.
Considering which social media sites are used more than several times a week, Facebook again is the most popular with 63% of respondents claiming they use it the most out of all the social media sites available. YouTube is the next most popular, used the most by 14% of respondents.
Sharing is the most common use of Facebook with 40% of users sharing content daily. Personal photos are shared the most (58%), followed by status updates (39%), personal opinions (36%), viral videos and news (both 35%). 34% of UAE residents also share every day on Snapchat – mostly personal photos (54%), and personal videos (46%) . 24% share content every day on Twitter and 21% on YouTube.
Typically Facebook is accessed via a smartphone according to 71% of the sample, whilst 21% access it via their laptop. On the other hand, LinkedIn is the most accessed social media site via a laptop with 52% favoring it as their device of choice.
Interestingly the study shows that 41% of residents claim social media is the most helpful and influential way to discover useful information about brands or products, making it the second most popular means to do so, behind general internet browsing.
Commenting on the findings, YouGov consumer research director, Nehal Hassan Jibouri said, “Our research confirms how social media today plays an integral role in the lives of UAE residents. It serves two main desires – it fulfills (but also created) a need to share precious moments with others and has also become a means to gain, gather and exchange information.
With 41% of UAE residents choosing social media as the most helpful means to source information on brands and products, and word of mouth becoming highly impactful in the region, there’s no surprise we are witnessing companies give their marketing and communications strategies a complete makeover. We’re observing a gradual shift away from the use of traditional platforms to reach key audiences in favour of carving a path to them through social media channels and specifically social media ambassadors.”