Social Media’s giant platforms current impact on the MENA’s youth

Social Media’s giant platforms current impact on the MENA’s youth

A review-analysis of the Social Media’s giant platforms current impact on the MENA’s youth by Damian Radcliffe and Payton Bruni was posted on yesterday 15 April 2019.

The most recent manifestation of their widespread use could be assessed as resulting in amongst many things, the calm and easy dethroning of two of North Africa’s long-endured head of states. Their current and discrete assignments appear to be concerned with the complete disposal of the out-dated support systems. One thing is sure in that without these Social Media’s deep penetrations in the region, none of this youthful regeneration could be obtained or at least at such low price.

What is the most popular channel in Saudi Arabia and how many young people still use Facebook? Here are some key facts about one of the most youthful regions on the planet

Social media in the Middle East: five trends journalists need to know about

By: Damian Radcliffe and Payton Bruni


Credit: Photo by Darcey Beau on Unsplash

This article is authored by Damian Radcliffe, the Carolyn S. Chambers professor of journalism at the University of Oregon and Payton Bruni, a journalism student at the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication, who is also minoring in Arabic Studies.

The Middle East is a large, diverse, region. The fact that one-third of the population is below the age of 15 years, and a further one in five of the population is aged 15-24 years old, means that the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is one of the most youthful regions on the planet.

Since the Arab Spring, there has been increased interest in the role that media, and in particular social media, plays in the region. Our recent report, State of Social Media, Middle East: 2018 explored this topic in depth. Here we outline the implications our research has for journalists.

News consumption for Arab youth is social media-led

“Like their peers in the West, young Arabs today are digital natives,” said Sunil John, founder and CEO of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, which produces the annual Arab youth survey.

“Young Arabs are now getting their news first on social media, not television. This year, our survey reveals almost two thirds (63 per cent) of young Arabs say they look first to Facebook and Twitter for news. Three years ago, that was just a quarter.”

YouTube is huge. And growing

The number of YouTube channels in MENA has risen by 160 per cent in the past three years. More than 200 YouTube channels in the region have over one million subscribers. Over 30,000 channels have more than 10,000 subscribers.

In 2017, the 16 nation Arab youth survey also reported that YouTube is viewed daily by half of young Arabs.

To encourage further growth of the network, Google opened a YouTube Space at Dubai’s Studio City in March 2018, the tenth such hub to be opened by YouTube around the globe.

According to Arabian Business, content creators with more than 10,000 YouTube subscribers enjoy “free access to audio, visual and editing equipment, as well as training programmes, workshops and courses. Those with more than 1,000 subscribers will have access to workshops and events hosted at the space.”

In most countries, Facebook has yet to falter

The social network now has 164 million active monthly users in the Arab world. This is up from 56 million Facebook users just five years earlier.

Interestingly, in contrast to many other markets, 61 per cent of Arab youth say they use Facebook more frequently than a year ago, suggesting the network is still growing.

Egypt, the most populous nation in the region with a population of over 100 million, remains the biggest national market for Facebook in the region, with 24 million daily users and nearly 37 million monthly mobile users.

Saudi Arabia is a social media pioneer

“In 2018, YouTube upstaged long-time leader Facebook to become the most popular social media platform in Saudi Arabia,” reported Global Media Insight, a Dubai based digital interactive agency.

Data shared by the agency showed YouTube has 23.62 million active users, in the country, with Facebook coming in second with 21.95 million users.

Alongside this, although there are about 12 million daily users of Snapchat in the Gulf region (an area comprising Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman) a staggering 9 million of these are in Saudi Arabia (compared to 1 million in UAE).

A complicated relationship with platforms

Despite YouTube’s wide popularity in the MENA region, the company faced some pushback in the past year, after the network was accused of removing online evidence of Syrian chemical attacks.

Meanwhile, YouTube suspended accounts belonging to Syria’s public international news organisation (SANA,) the Ministry of Defence, and the Syrian Presidency “after a report claimed the channels were violating US sanctions and generating revenue from ads,” Al Jazeera reported.

More generally, social networks have a complicated relationship with the region, with service blocks, or the banning of certain features (such as video calling) being relatively common place, and both news organisations and individuals, can fall foul of greater levels of government oversight.

Derogatory posts have resulted in deportations of residents from UAE, while in 2018, the Egyptian government passed legislation categorising social media accounts with more than 5,000 followers as media outlets, thereby exposing them to monitoring by the authorities.

To find out more, download the full study State of Social Media, Middle East: 2018 from the University of Oregon Scholars’ Bank, or view it online via ScribdSlideShareResearchGate and Academia.Edu.

‘Smart’ness in Health and Wellness at home

‘Smart’ness in Health and Wellness at home

A TradeArabia article of 2 days ago reported citing Frost & Sullivan’s Vision 2025—Healthcare in the Smart Home that ‘Smart’ness in Health and Wellness at home is increasingly reaching out globally and presumably getting closer to the Persian Gulf. It explains how digital healthcare providers are planning to integrate the recently developed digital solutions in smart homes.

The health and wellness segment of connected homes market revenues is expected to grow from $6.67 billion in 2017 to $22.26 billion by 2022, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.3 per cent, a report said.

Wellness segment of smart homes to top $22bn by 2022

As healthcare shifts from reactive to proactive care, a huge market is opening up for automation products that can help deliver health and wellness services through smart homes, added the report titled “Vision 2025—Healthcare in the Smart Home” from growth partnership firm Frost & Sullivan.

The ubiquity of broadband connectivity, development of smart sensors, and the decreasing costs of devices have already made it possible to offer aging-in-place, chronic disease management, and post-acute care services in smart homes.

However, digital health vendors are striving to take telehealth to the next level by developing solutions that will allow care givers to check on the health of all the residents of the house, not just the patient’s, monitor diet and nutrition, the environment, and overall wellness, and be integrable with existing and newer systems.

“Patients are conscious of their health quotient and want to be involved in the wellness and disease management,” said Sowmya Rajagopalan, global program director Transformational Health. “With consumerization of healthcare, enabling patients to clinically manage their disease at home has been of crucial importance for care providers and OEMs today as they have made this a reality with the launch of innovation in design, devices, services, and solutions.”

The analysis examines the concept of a smart home delivering healthcare. It segments all the resident profiles and lists the individual health needs that are relevant to healthcare delivery in the home. It also highlights the key companies in this space as well as the major business models and future evolution trends. It covers the technologies of home automation, voice virtual assistants, artificial intelligence (AI), and analytics.

Companies like Google, Samsung, Philips, and Deutsch Telekom have unique capabilities and value propositions to serve the smart homes for healthcare delivery area, with their smart solutions, the report said.

There are further expansion opportunities in the healthcare segment:

•        Providing an intelligent layer that will collect and analyze data to generate precise, customized insights for sharing with residents, caregivers, and clinical care teams;

•        Developing solutions that enable further actions, such as hailing an ambulance or notifying the care team of a heart attack or a fall;

•        Enhancing pre-defined architecture, protocols, and standards to enable easier integration of products into platforms; and

•        Offering smart thermostats, virtual voice assistance devices, and smart security systems, in addition to ensuring tech development for residents, patients and caregivers

“Any solution that can monitor the health of various individuals in a single house, using cross-industry business models, while operating in a stringently regulated industry, will have to be highly dynamic, integrable, and interoperable,” noted Siddharth Shah Industry analyst Transformational Health.

“While the barriers to market entry seem high, there are substantial opportunities for automation and healthtech vendors that are keen to develop technologies, products, and models for this market.”

TradeArabia News Service

Sophisticated air monitoring system across London’s streets

Sophisticated air monitoring system across London’s streets

C40 and McKinsey recently published ‘Focused Acceleration’, a report that aims to enable mayors to assess the ambition of their own climate plans against the modelled analysis produced by McKinsey and Arup. Still, according to C40, the same majors are now envisioning a future where walking, cycling and shared transport is how most citizens move around their cities. This shift towards zero-emission mobility will result in less congestion and less pollution while making our roads quieter and the air we breathe cleaner. Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom’s capital, things are getting real as to be concretised per the proposed article of C40. It is about London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan about to be launching a new air quality scheme through the use of sophisticated air monitoring system across London’s streets.

New ‘hyperlocal’ sensor network to create world’s most sophisticated air monitoring system across London’s streets

Sensors will be attached to lampposts, buildings and in dedicated Google’s Street-View cars. 

London, UK (21 June 2018) — The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and C40 – a network of cities committed to bold action on climate change – have launched a cutting-edge new project to better understand Londoners’ exposure to air pollution around the city. Sensors will measure harmful pollution in tens of thousands of locations, making London’s new air quality monitoring network the most sophisticated in the world.  

Air pollution is threatening the health of Londoners, with most areas of the capital regularly breaking limits for safe levels of air pollution. Scientists estimate that thousands of Londoners’ lives end sooner than they should each year because of unclean air. And that the yearly cost of that dirty air to London’s economy is £3.7 billion.

London already has one of the best networks of air quality monitors of any city. Despite this, the network still does not cover enough of London. More sensors and more data are needed to say for sure which actions to tackle air pollution are working best. More sensors will also help explain how air quality changes not just because of the amount of traffic, but also because of other factors such as weather and road layout.

From July, new fixed and mobile sensors will be rolled out across London’s streets. 100 fixed sensors will be fitted to lampposts and buildings in the worst affected areas and sensitive locations, and two dedicated Google Street View cars will be driving across the city, mapping air pollution at an unprecedented level of detail. The two Google Street View cars assigned to this project will take air quality readings every 30 metres, building up a picture over the course of a year, and identifying pollution “hotspots” that the existing network of fixed monitors might miss.       

With this new ‘hyperlocal’ data, the Mayor will be able to track what actions are making the biggest difference to people’s health. Whether that’s more electric vehicles, or improvements to public transport, robust science means we will know more than ever about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to cleaning up our air.

Online maps showing data in real time will give Londoners information on just how dirty the air they breathe really is as they move around the city. These new tools will help the capital take action to tackle the most dangerous environmental threat to people’s health. The study will improve the accuracy of air pollution forecasts for the coming three days, making it possible for people to plan and respond to high pollution warnings.    

The project will be run by a team of air quality experts led by the charity Environmental Defense Fund Europe, in partnership with Air Monitors Ltd., Google Earth Outreach, Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants, University of Cambridge, National Physical Laboratory, and the Environmental Defense Fund team in the United States. King’s College London will also be undertaking a linked study focused on schools that will form part of the year long project.

The project is the result of a partnership between the Greater London Authority and C40 Cities.

The results from this initiative will be shared with the 96 members of the C40 Cities network, with the ambition of improving air quality for hundreds of millions of people living in cities around the world.

The announcement comes just a day after the Mayor brought together city leaders from across England and Wales for a national air quality summit, and unveiled that London will have the largest pure electric double-deck bus fleet in Europe.

The Mayor of London and C40 Vice Chair, Sadiq Khan, said: “London’s toxic air is leading to the premature deaths of thousands of Londoners every year so I am pleased that we are embracing the very latest smart technology to monitor hot-spots and demonstrate how effective our policies to combat this global issue are.


“I’m doing everything in my power to tackle London’s lethal air including cleaning up our bus and taxi fleets, introducing the Toxicity Charge for the oldest polluting vehicles in central London and bringing forward the introduction of the world’s first Ultra-Low Emission Zone to start in April 2019.

“I am delighted to be joining up with C40, the Environmental Defense Fund, Google and the rest of the team on this exciting project that will provide a treasure trove of new data and information to improve air quality here in London, and deliver an approach that can be replicated across the world.”


“This project will provide a step change in data collection and analysis that will enable London to evaluate the impact of both air quality and climate change policies and develop responsive interventions,” said Executive Director for Environmental Defense Fund Europe, Baroness Bryony Worthington.  “A clear output of the project will be a revolutionary air monitoring model and intervention approach that can be replicated cost-effectively across other UK cities and globally, with a focus on C40 cities.”

Mark Watts, C40, Executive Director said: “Almost every major city in the world is dealing with the threat of toxic air pollution, which is taking an incredible toll on the health of citizens, public finances, quality of life and contributing to climate change. London is already a world leader in responding to this global threat and with this initiative it will set a new global standard for how street level air quality monitoring can inform strategic policy making. Cities across the C40 network and around the world will be watching closely to understand how this street level air quality monitoring can deliver cleaner air for their citizens.”

Driverless Cars need the same Levels of Control and Security

Driverless Cars need the same Levels of Control and Security

VMware’s senior vice president and general manager for the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region, Jean-Pierre Brulard, gives his take on why driverless cars need the same levels of control and security as physical data centres.

Driverless world due for near feature, claims EMEA tech exec

by Jean-Pierre Brulard, senior vice president and general manager, Europe, Middle East and Africa, VMware

The Middle East is at the forefront of the bold new world of autonomous transportation – with self-driving cars, buses, metros, and potentially even aerial taxis coming to life in the coming years. Dubai, as one of the world’s pioneering Smart Cities, is rapidly progressing on its Autonomous Transportation Strategy, which aims to have 25 percent of all trips delivered by autonomous means by 2030.

Worldwide, by 2020, there will be a staggering 250 million connected vehicles out on the roads. Self-driving cars are currently undergoing test pilots around the world, from Ocado’s delivery service in the UK to driverless Ubers in Pittsburgh. Elon Musk, a pioneer in the field and mastermind behind Tesla sees trial phases succeeding and progressing quickly, predicting that all new cars set to be fully autonomous in the next ten years.

There’s no denying it, we are edging towards a driverless future. But this future comes with apprehension. Just like the ATM, or the spinning Jenny before it, new technology that fundamentally changes our way of thinking is met with initial scepticism. In our own research of consumers across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, undertaken by Opinion Matters, we found that than more than half of UK respondents (52%) don’t yet fully trust autonomous vehicles, and over three quarters of French consumers (82%) don’t believe they will use such a vehicle in the future.

Taken as isolated statistics, these numbers aren’t surprising. Mainstream psychology research also shows that people mistrust those who make moral decisions by calculating costs and benefits – just like computers do. Yet much like anything new, it takes time and concerted education from businesses to convince the public that these new inventions can become part of our everyday lives and contribute towards a better future.

So, what does the automotive industry need to do? Nearly half (46%) of those surveyed in the UK believe one of the main benefits of an autonomous vehicle is that they can sit back and not have to deal with monotonous traffic jams or laborious long journeys. There’s insight here that there are plenty of benefits that excite the public when it comes to the future of driving – and that’s something to take note of.

That’s why the psychological barrier created by a car without human control needs to be addressed.

To overcome this, there needs to be a greater general understanding and awareness of how the cars will work, as well as the software and technology that will keep them safe. But the industry doesn’t have to look too far for where this has already been possible. Since its inception, aviation has been at the forefront of physical safety – you are nineteen times safer in a plane than in a car, yet millions of people sit in airplanes that are largely automated and where the passenger can’t physically see the pilot.

‘Data centres on wheels’

Network virtualisation, cloud computing, mobility, and security will be among the foundational technologies that will help autonomous vehicles to compute and store data, ensuring that the car and all its data remain secure and resilient, and sit within a robust IT platform. This IT platform can provide the levels of massive scalability, resiliency, and available infrastructure required – in effect making the autonomous vehicle of the future a data centre on wheels. As such, autonomous vehicles should be subject to the same kind of management, security, and operational systems that one would have with an enterprise data centre.

With the driverless future already in progress, it is up to businesses to demonstrate how they’re building security into the DNA of systems – from the data centre where vital data resides – all the way through to the car itself. Consumers will be reluctant to use driverless cars if they don’t feel reassured of the safety and security levels that technology can provide. Manufacturers must implement comprehensive IT security solutions that cover the car’s entire lifecycle.

As humans become more integrated with machines and artificial intelligence, we’ll be able to benefit from the best of both worlds; increased safety and accuracy with human insight and creativity. In doing so, we can work towards a better future, where driverless and driven cars can harmoniously coexist, providing us with greater freedom and choice to navigate our environment as we please.

Never before has the science fiction dream of autonomous transportation been closer to becoming a reality. Autonomous transportation can make a major impact across the Middle East in reducing traffic congestion and pollution, enhancing efficiency and creating new digital transport and logistics business models.

Across the Middle East, government regulators, visionary public sector organisations, private sector innovators, and academia need to accelerate their coming together to develop the technological infrastructure, rules and regulations, and digital roadmaps to make autonomous vehicles as commonplace as hailing a taxi.

Read more at Driverless world due for near feature, claims EMEA tech exec