WhatsApp, Facebook most popular social media platforms in UAE

The least popular platforms were found to be Snapchat and LinkedIn

Messaging service WhatsApp and Facebook are the most popular social media platforms among users in the UAE, a new government survey has found.

The survey, conducted by the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, found that 97 per cent of respondents use WhatsApp while 89 per cent interact via Facebook.

Video sharing site YouTube came third with 73 per cent.

The least popular platforms were found to be Snapchat (27 per cent) and LinkedIn (16 per cent).

Professional networking site LinkedIn is used mostly by the age group between 22 and 34 years old, while the age group between 18 and 21 years old had the highest rate of social media usage, the report said.

The report also found that there was a difference in usage patterns between citizens and residents.

Citizens preferred WhatsApp (96 per cent), Instagram (78 per cent) and Snapchat (62 per cent). Meanwhile WhatsApp was also found to be the favourite among residents (97 per cent), followed by Facebook (93 per cent) and YouTube (75 per cent).

The survey will help decision makers and specialists in the public and private sector to better deploy social media strategies, said Abdullah Lootah, director-general of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority.

Sumaya Saeed, director of Government Communication at the Authority, added: “The results show many important facts about the uses of social media in the country by citizens and residents in different age groups, and we hope that the institutes and governmental authorities, both federal and local, benefit from this research to develop and activate their presence on these platforms in order to serve the citizens and residents, and make them happy.”

The UAE has among the highest smartphone and internet penetration rates in the world.

People in the country are also extremely social-media savvy. According to research, UAE’s social media usage increased from 15 per cent in 2014 to 53 per cent in 2016.

A survey by YouGov last year also found that millennials in the UAE spend up to six hours a day on social media.

Read more: UAE residents spend five hours a day on social media