Sultan Al Qassemi is the most connected Twitter user in the Middle East.
UAE-based social and political commentator Sultan Al Qassemi is the most connected Twitter user in the Middle East, according to a new study by communication consultancy Portland.
Al Qassemi, who has over 146,000 followers on the social networking site, also topped the list for the most connected Twitter user in the UAE, said the report, which mapped the 500 most connected Twitter users in the Middle East.
The study identified Dima Khatib, a Syrian-born Palestinian journalist currently based in Qatar, who has over 155,000 followers, as the second most connected Twitter user in the region, and Wael Ghonim, the Egyptian Google executive turned political commentator came third on the list.
Overall, among the top 50 places, over a quarter are held by women, over a quarter are held by government officials and royal family members, and one in three are held by political activists, said the report.
Politics and current affairs were the main topics, and the most commonly used hashtags among the top connected users included #Bahrain, #Syria and #Lebanon.
The report also found that Egypt’s Twitter users have the most connections across the region, followed by those in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
“While journalists and commentators are very active in the Middle East Twittersphere, it is interesting to see more politicians and government officials on Twitter, gaining influence and engaging with citizens and the media,” said Mark Flanagan, Portland’s partner for Digital Communications.
“It is clear that Twitter is seen as a valuable and increasingly mainstream platform.”
Portland analysed the “influencers” in each country and then ranked them in terms of how many other key tweeters in the Middle East follow them. Data was collected between July and September 2012.
The top 10 most connected Twitter users the region are:
1. Sultan Al Qassemi (UAE) @SultanAlQassemi
2. Dima Khatib (Qatar) @Dima_Khatib
3. Wael Ghonim (Egypt) @Ghonim
4. Mohamed El Baradei (Egypt) @ElBaradei
5. HH Sheikh Mohammed (UAE) @HHSkhMohd
6. Nabeel Rajab (Bahrain) @NABEELRAJAB
7. Rania Al Abdullah (Jordan)@QueenRania
8. Khalid Al Khalifa (Bahrain) @KhalidalKhalifa
9. Maryam Al Khawaja (Bahrain) @MARYAMALKHAWAJA
10. Turki Al-Dakhil (Saudi Arabia) @TurkiAldakhil