Twitter gaining ground in GCC
The GCC ( Gulf Cooperation Council) and wider Mena (Middle East and North Africa) region is one of the fastest growing regions for Twitter worldwide today, Benjamin Ampen, head of revenue for the Mena region at Twitter, said.
"Twitter is part of the everyday fabric of life in the UAE," he said. "Our focus is on creating a great experience for our users and delivering ROI for advertisers. We have more than 320 million users worldwide, and Tweets are seen everywhere from TV shows, to newspapers, to websites, to on our own platform."
Twitter, which celebrated its 10th anniversary last Monday, opened an office in Dubai in August last year, and has since seen fantastic results, Ampen said. "We're lucky in the GCC as we have both high usage and great clients in the region. We have also found that since the launch of Twitter Video, brand engagement and popularity is only increasing. Twitter users are hungry for video content. For example, according to a Nielsen Consumer Deep Dive in Saudi Arabia, 85 per cent of Twitter users watch videos."
Ampen also revealed that Twitter will "shortly" be launching 'First view', which will help marketers achieve significant audience reach with exclusive ownership of Twitter's most valuable advertising real estate for a 24-hour period. "When users first visit the Twitter app or log in to twitter.com, the top ad slot in the timelines will be a promoted video from that brand. Now, marketers can tell a powerful visual story across the Twitter audience," he said.
Asked about how many people in the UAE use Twitter, Ampen said that Twitter had recently worked with Web Index to better understand who uses Twitter in UAE and what they're key interests are. The research found that Twitter users in the UAE are 34 per cent female, and 66 per cent male. In addition, 96 per cent of Twitter users in the UAE take part in shopping decisions. Also, the research showed that Twitter is inherently mobile with 89 per cent of Twitter users in the UAE using a mobile phone to access the Internet - of these, two in three search for products or services to buy on their phone.
Ampen also revealed that, when it comes to trends in the region, user growth across key markets is aligned to key cultural moments. For example, throughout Ramadan 2015, there were over 8.4 billion impressions of Tweets about Ramadan on Twitter, and syndicated across the web.
"Amid all of the great Ramadan content on Twitter, Rotana, @Khalejiatv, gave people around the world an exclusive and real-time look into Makkah, thanks to Periscope. Viewers were able to experience key moments as they happened, such as daily and evening prayers. There is a huge appetite for video in the region, both live video like Periscope, which has been extremely popular, but also native Twitter Video," he said.
Looking to the future, Ampen said that Twitter would be focusing on five key priorities that included: making Twitter even easier to use for everyone; investing in live streaming app, Periscope, and six second video app, Vine; continuing to invest in making Twitter a safe and enjoyable place for people to express themselves, with tools including block, mute, and report; making it easier for those creating premium quality content on the platform to continue to do so, from top YouTubers to sports stars and news outlets; and investing in making Twitter easy to use for developers through the Fabric platform.
Twitter is testing a new feature called 'Stickers' to add images to photos before tweeting them, tech news site Re/ code reported on Tuesday.The feature will also let Twitter users see how others around the world have edited the photo and will also suggest photos that could be edited and posted, to take part in trending conversations and breaking news, Re/code said, citing the company.
However, it is unclear where Twitter would get these photos or how it would determine which ones to recommend, the report said.As part of the testing program with the users, Twitter is also suggesting names like 'Stamptags,' 'Taptags' and 'Stickits,' Re/code said, citing a note sent to one test user.Twitter could not immediately be reached for comment.