Twit­ter gain­ing ground in GCC

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

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.

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