Residents in Saudi Arabia spend approximately five hours a day using social media on average and 30% have six to 10 applications installed on their smartphone according to new research.
The findings, captured amongst over 4,000 residents in Saudi Arabia, revealed that the time spent on social media varies depending on age group. Young users (aged 18-35) spend from two to six hours per day, while older users (aged 36-55) spend 30 minutes to two hours per day.
The majority of the population uses Facebook the most regularly (several times a week) (58%), followed by YouTube (56%), Twitter (38%), and Snapchat (27%). Flickr, Foursquare, Reddit and Tumblr are the least regularly used social media sites accessed by less than 2% of respondents.
Considering which social media sites are used more than several times a week, taking the lead by a large margin in the Kingdom is Facebook with 38% of respondents claiming they use it the most out of all the social media sites available. YouTube is the next most popular, used the most by 18% of respondents, followed by Snapchat (14%), Twitter (13%), and Instagram (10%).
Sharing is the most common use of Facebook with 38% of users sharing content daily. News is shared the most (46%), followed by viral videos (45%) and personal photos and opinions (both 40%). Residents also share on Snapchat on a daily basis - mostly personal photos (51%) and personal videos (50%). 26% share content daily on Twitter and 23% share content daily on YouTube.
Typically Facebook is accessed via a smartphone according to 66% of the sample across the country, whilst 28% access it via their laptop. On the other hand, LinkedIn is the most accessed social media site via a laptop with 53% favoring it as their device of choice.
Interestingly the study shows that 44% of residents claim social media is the most helpful and influential way to discover useful information about brands or products, making it the second most popular means to do so, behind general internet browsing.
Commenting on the findings, YouGov consumer research director, Nehal Hassan Jibouri said, “Our research confirms how social media today plays an integral role in the lives of residents in Saudi Arabia. It serves two main desires - it fulfills (but also created) a need to share precious moments with others and has also become a means to gain, gather and exchange information.
With 44% of residents choosing social media as the most helpful means to source information on brands and products, and word of mouth becoming highly impactful in this region, there’s no surprise we are witnessing companies give their marketing and communications strategies a complete makeover. We’re observing a gradual shift away from the use of traditional platforms to reach key audiences in favour of carving a path to them through social media channels and specifically social media ambassadors.”
This research was conducted online by YouGov amongst 4,236 respondents in Saudi Arabia between 1 April and 17 May 2016. Data is broadly representative of the adult online population in Saudi Arabia.