Social Media Interaction: Qataris and Non-Qataris
Qatar as a whole has the highest internet connectivity in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. 98% of households have access to the internet. Qataris are very much part of social media trends in 2016 using the networks for entertainment, sharing and communication. Social networking is a crucial tool of interaction between Qatari nationals and non-Qataris, who make up a significant section of the population.
The usage of social networks is markedly different among Qataris and non-Qataris.
Qataris usage of social networks
Whatsapp – 97%
BBM – 48%
Snapchat – 39%
Arab non-Qataris social media usage
Whatsapp – 92%
BBM – 26%
Snapchat – 13%
Western and other non-Qataris
Whatsapp – 82%
BBM – 27%
Twitter - 30%
Snapchat – 10%
From the data above, it can be seen that the messaging social network Whatsapp is the most popular with Qataris and non-Arab Qataris while western expat prefer Facebook as the network of choice.
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Newer social media networks Instagram and Snapchat are also more popular with Qataris than with non-Qataris. The higher number of Qataris on Instagram and Snapchat which are picture and video sharing platforms shows that Qataris are sharing more images of themselves with other Qataris than non-Qataris. Facebook is number four for Qataris with less than half using the most popular network in the world. It is still the most popular network with non-Arab Qataris perhaps as they maintain old friendships back home. Whatsapp is popular across all nationalities showing it is the most popular form of communication in the country at work and home.
Social Media Growth
Social media changing in Doha picked up well since 2012. Whatsapp usage grew from 80% then to 92% in 2015 for example. Qataris have shown more awareness of newer social networks than non-Qataris.
Awareness in Qataris
Snapchat – 77%
Pinterest – 25%
Awareness in non-Qataris
Whatsapp – 95%
Snapchat – 44%
Instagram – 63%
There is 100% mobile connectivity for 15-24 yr. old Qataris. This may explain the popularity of newer social networks like Snapchat and Instagram. Older networks Facebook and Twitter are more popular for non-Qataris as they need to get messages back home more than share videos and photos.
Social Media Trends
Facebook is still the most widely used social network in the Middle East, followed by Instagram and Twitter. Social media trends in 2016 show more people getting onto Instagram than other networks. Direct messaging services remain popular with Whatsapp taking the lead across the age brackets and Facebook Messenger growing more popular in the age bracket 15-24 yrs.