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There’s no doubt that the internet population in the Middle East and North Africa is a mobile-first one. According to 2015 data from Northwestern University in Qatar, Harris Interactive and the Pan Arab Research Center (PARC), 93% of internet users across Lebanon, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Egypt went online via mobile phone. Just 73% did so via a desktop or laptop computer.
Being mobile-first doesn’t mean spending less time online, though. According to the survey, internet users spent more time with the medium than TV viewers did with TV, radio listeners with radio, and so forth for all media studied. Internet users in Qatar were the most avid studied, spending 32 hours per week online, on average, while those in Tunisia and Saudi Arabia had the smallest gap between internet time and TV time—but the web still won out in every country studied.
The region’s highly mobile internet population is overwhelmingly likely to conduct social and communication activity online. Nearly eight in 10 internet users surveyed used social media or mobile messaging at least daily, a figure that rose to 96% in Lebanon.
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