AMMAN — Jordanians make up 5 per cent of all Facebook users in the Arab world and their numbers are growing, according to statistics from the Arab Social Media Report (ASMR).
The report showed that there were 2.244 million Facebook users in Jordan by the end of last month and that about 217,000 new accounts were created between January and June 2012.
Egypt has the most Facebook users of any Arab country, according to the report, conducted by the Dubai School of Government’s Governance and Innovation Programme, followed by Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Algeria, the UAE, Syria, and Tunisia, with Jordan following in eighth place.
With 34.1 per cent of the population using Facebook, Jordan is classified as a high-penetration country, along with Kuwait, the UAE and Lebanon, according to the report, posted on the programme’s website.
Seventy-five per cent of Facebook users in Jordan are aged between 15 and 29, 56 per cent are male, and 58 per cent prefer to use the site in Arabic, the report showed.
When it comes to Twitter, however, Jordan was ranked among the low-penetration countries.
By the end of June 2012, there were 59,726 active Twitter users in Jordan, the report stated, meaning that Twitter penetration in Jordan stood at 0.92 per cent.
“Not many people in Jordan know how to use Twitter. Facebook is more popular because users find it easy to use,” Ibrahim Ayyad, a social media expert, told The Jordan Times on Thursday.
“Twitter users are limited to 140 characters in each tweet, while on Facebook users can post comments without any limits,” Ayyad said over the phone.
“Twitter users are usually classified as class A users who are after serious topics. There are more Facebook users in Jordan because on Facebook they can play games and download apps. People feel that Facebook helps them interact with their friends and relatives more than Twitter,” he noted.
Alaa Abu Sallal, a community college student, agreed.
“I have been using Facebook for more than two years. I like it a lot and it is user-friendly,” he told The Jordan Times.
“Some of my friends have Twitter accounts and they asked me to create one. I made an account and used it for a few days, then I never used it again. I did not like Twitter at all. Facebook is much more fun to use. I can easily check on my friends, see their pictures and chat with them on my Facebook page,” Abu Sallal said Thursday.
According to the report, the Arab world had a total of 45.2 million Facebook users at the end of June 2012, up from 37.4 million in January. In June 2011, the figure stood at 29.8 million, suggesting an annual rise of 50 per cent.
The report estimated the number of active Twitter users in the Arab region at 2,099,706. In March the region generated over 172.5 million tweets.
The Arab world’s political uprisings have been the main focus of Twitter discussions, the report said.
“The Arab Spring played a key role in increasing the number of Twitter users across the Arab world,” said Ayyad.
The report covered all 22 Arab states as well as Iran, Turkey and Israel.