Newly released data from DataReportal, a leading online reference library, reveals that Qatar is experiencing a digital renaissance. With an internet penetration rate of 99% in Qatar, only 1% of the population remained offline at the start of 2023. Out of the total population, 2.62 million people (96.8%) were active social media users, making Qatar one of the countries with the highest social media usage rates in the world.
As of early 2023, there were 4.89 million active mobile connections in Qatar, surpassing the country’s total population at a rate of 180.9%. The report also revealed that 97.8% of the country’s internet users accessed at least one social media platform in January 2023. Meanwhile, the number of internet users increased by 0.8%, or 21,000 individuals, between 2022 and 2023, as reported by Kepios analysis.
It is essential to consider that collecting and analysing data on internet users is complex, often resulting in delayed publication and under-representation of actual internet use and growth rates. Consequently, adoption rates and progress may be higher than reported figures.
The most popular platforms among Qatar residents were YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Snapchat. Although the advertisement reach of some platforms has grown, user growth for Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and YouTube has declined, with Facebook and Instagram losing around 150,000 and 100,000 users, respectively.
In contrast, LinkedIn, Twitter, and TikTok saw an increase in their user base between the start of 2022 and early 2023. ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, reported that the platform’s ads reached 96.5% of all adults aged 18 and above in Qatar at the start of 2023.
A recent report by the University of Oregon indicated that the top 5 countries in the world for YouTube reach are all located in the MENA region. In terms of TikTok reach, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and Iraq hold the top five positions.
Qatar has also seen improvements in internet speeds. Mobile internet connection speeds increased by 78.08 Mbps (over 79.6%) and fixed internet connection speeds increased by 26.70 Mbps (over 41.6%) in the twelve months leading up to January 2023. Qatar’s high social media adoption rates and fast internet speeds demonstrate the country’s growing reliance on technology and digital connectivity. As the world becomes more interconnected, Qatar is at the forefront of this digital revolution, embracing social media and technological advancements as it continues to grow.