Social space: A roundup of all the social media news from the GCC in October

Fadi Khater, founder and managing partner of digital marketing agency Netizency, provides an overview of social media trends in the region



The top three most discussed topics where politics, education, and entertainment in that order closely followed by technology and health.

Political discussions predominantly revolved around the protests in Iraq.

Users talking about education highlighted the launch of a crowdfunding platform by Dubai Cares to support education in developing countries.

Meanwhile entertainment discussions centred around reactions to the Joker movie, followed by the ULTRA electronic music festival being announced in Abu Dhabi.

Technology and health mentions included polarising reviews of the new Pixel 4 mobile phone, buzz around the Dubai TV show Astronauts and praise for King Fahd Medical City from patients.

Other hot topics included the Dubai Fitness Challenge and Gordon Ramsey on TikTok.

Methodology: Netizency conducted a social listening across all social and online media from the GCC between October 1-31, 2019 to gather the information on popular trends.

The latest updates to social media platforms include:

LinkedIn:

– Launches new tools for companies to notify their employees and share team moments
– Introduces ‘events’ to facilitate the process of professional event planning
– Enhances its ad targeting tools to include Boolean logic (and/or) and allow advertisers to see specific professional characteristics of their audience

Facebook:

– Is testing ‘suggested time’ for pages to post when their followers are most active
– Is readjusting its organic impressions calculation to minimise duplications
– Discontinues grey verification badges for small businesses
– Is starting to test ad placement in groups with a small pool of brands
– Expands search ads to all advertisers to reach users actively searching for specific products
– Adds ‘send message’ call to action button to stories
– Tests new photo layouts for posts with multiple images
– Updates private replies from text only to allow images, templates, and quick replies

Twitter:

– Explores new emoji reactions to DMs
– Tests new label to identify bots
– Tests ‘stream tweets’ – adding tweets to users’ feeds as they happen in real-time
– Launches new advanced search filters allowing users to sort tweets by level of engagement
– Launches DM filter allowing people to sort their DMs based on different criteria

YouTube:

– Expands its AR ‘try on’ feature to more brands and widens placement options
– Debuts a search filter for comments, facilitating finding and responding-to comments

Instagram:

– Launches ‘false information’ label that will be placed on content that fails its fact checking
– Introduces ‘series’ for IGTV allowing creators to notify users of new episodes
– Is testing topic categories and personalised lists for the ‘following’ tab
– Tests ‘AR try-on’ ads allowing users to virtually try on advertised products from their phone
– Tests ‘product launch’ stickers that allow users to get a reminder once a product is launched
– Removes ‘following’ tab that displays the content your friends are liking, commenting on, and following
– Launches ‘threads’- a new way to message close friends in a private space
– Introduces new stories camera allowing new creation modes
– Introduces ‘emails from Instagram’ allowing people to verify the authenticity of the emails they receive from the platform
– Rolls out ‘dark mode’

Snapchat:

– Announces ‘dynamic ads’ with templates that will automatically generate ads in real time
– Integrates a ‘share on Snapchat’ function on Reddit
– Adds a home filter allowing people to design and publish a geofilter around their house