Among internet users in Africa and the Middle East, the social network penetration rate is higher than in any other region worldwide, according to new data from eMarketer. While internet access remains limited in the Middle East and Africa outside of urban centers, those who are able to go online are highly likely to visit social networks.
Earlier this year, the Middle East/Africa region was forecast to have the third-highest social network penetration rate among internet users (at 71%), behind Latin America and Eastern Europe. Now, the revised forecast has dropped that number down to 70%, but further reductions in other regions have left the Middle East and Africa in the top slot of social network penetration among internet users worldwide. By 2014, the region will have 80% penetration among internet users.
“Social networks have been making a significant social and cultural impact” in the region in recent years, reports eMarketer, among nations that traditionally share less online. Greater use is seen among the young and well-educated, and mobile use is on the rise as well.
In 2012, there will be 146 million social network users in the Middle East/Africa region, and nearly 118 million Facebook users.