In this Arab Social Media Report, the Dubai School of Government discusses how social media tools have merged online and offline identities, while playing an arguably critical role in dramatic changes sweeping the Arab region.
Until recently, experts theorized about the promises of social networking technologies, including their ability to influence a participatory governance model, grassroots civic engagement, new social dynamics, inclusive societies and new opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs. A few months into 2011, there is more evidence suggesting that some of these promises can prove realistic. Today, social media tools have merged online and offline identities, while playing an arguably critical role in dramatic changes sweeping the Arab region. Governments and businesses alike have taken notice of the potential offered by the increased penetration of social networking tools in the Arab region, and new trends in governance and business are emerging. Facebook continues to be the most popular social networking tool in the Arab region, and the inaugural Arab Social Media Report focused on Facebook usage as the primary metric of social media usage in the Arab region. In this second edition of the report, in addition to Facebook our research expands to Twitter, another social networking platform which has been influential on several levels during the first quarter of the year.