Some UAE residents have up to 5 social media accounts. Here's why

Consumers in the country, on average, spend over 7 hours on Internet each day, 13th highest in the world

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Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Wed 10 May 2023, 7:14 AM

Last updated: Thu 11 May 2023, 2:55 PM

Dubai resident ML's day begins with browsing through social media. "I have five accounts. One is the public account on which I have my family, relatives and acquaintances. The private account is for my friends; my parents are unaware of it. I also have three other accounts - one details my hobby, another to sell items and a third to post memes."

On Tuesday, the UAE was named the world's social media capital by a study based on the data of World Population Review, which showed that there are more Facebook users registered in the UAE than the population in the country.

According to Filipino school student Annie T, several of her friends have multiple social media accounts for various reasons. "For instance, they have an art account for posting art, advertising their art for commissions, or viewing art on their timeline. Then they have a separate account for their fandoms and interests. If they are a fan of something, they use this account to interact with people with the same interests and hobbies, etc. And lastly, a personal account."

The study revealed that UAE consumers, on average, spend seven hours and 29 minutes on the Internet each day, the 13th highest in the world. Team KT asked a wide range of people across all cross-sections about their social media usage

Changing social media landscape

Several members of the younger generation said their interest in older social media platforms like Facebook was waning. "I don't think any of my friends have a Facebook account," said Sheza Saleem, a American University of Sharjah student. "All my friends are either on TikTok or Snapchat. TikTok is pretty big [with everyone]. A lot of us are also on the platform called BeReal."

A photo-sharing app that allows users to share only once a day, BeReal lets friends take live pictures within 2 minutes of each other. It doesn't have any filters and is often called the anti-Instagram app.

Annie said she uses Messenger, Discord and Instagram to stay in touch with her friends. "In Southeast Asian countries, Messenger is the common messaging app we use to stay in touch with families and friends," she said. "We also chat a lot on Instagram over direct messages. As for other social media platforms, I usually use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter."


Hollie Singleton
Hollie Singleton

For young PR professional Hollie Singleton, her choice of social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat and Twitter. "Social media is the go-to place for communicating with friends, getting news and learning skills like cooking," she said. "I use Instagram the most but also Snapchat because most of my friends are there."

Hollie said she maintained a public as well as private Instagram account. "The private one is for my photos," she said. "I take so many photos, and I wanted an avenue to post them, whereas my main account is one I have had for a long time, and all my family and friends are on it."

However, for the older generation, Facebook remained their number-one choice of social media platform. Sana Adam, 58, said that most of her friends are on Facebook. "If I post something on Instagram, I will probably get about 20 comments," she said. "If I post the same thing on Facebook, I get about 300 responses. So I know most of my friends are on FB. However, my children and grandchildren are on Instagram, so I am more active there. You have to keep up with the youngsters."


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