A new study of internet users in Qatar has examined the usage of emerging social media networks. Damian Radcliffe explains more.In December 2014 Qatar’s Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (ictQATAR) published some of the key findings from a new ground-breaking study into social media in the country.
Three discoveries in particular are of note for policy makers: 1) dramatic differences in usage by nationality; 2) the concerns of social media users; and 3) the plurality of ways in which these networks are used.
Many of these areas, such as drivers for usage, had seldom been publicly explored.
In addition to questions about older and resilient messaging applications, such as Blackberry Messenger (BBM), survey respondents were also asked about their use of emerging social channels. These applications, such as WhatsApp and Snapchat, had not previously been studied.
With fieldwork undertaken by Ipsos MENA, the Rassed team at ictQATAR, the research is also remarkably current. One thousand adult internet users – fived hundred Qataris and five hundred non-Qataris – participated in fifteen-minute Computer Assisted Telephonic Interviews (CATI) between September 1 and October 16, 2014.