Mena users spend extra 57.6m hours on Facebook in Ramadan

Usage peaks at 3am among 152 million Mena users

DUBAI 30 May 2017: Are you one of the 152 million Facebook users in Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region?

Well, facebook has just revealed that Mena users spend an overwhelming 57.6 million extra hours on its site during Ramadan.

And, what is the peak time of usage – it’s 3am in the morning!

Facebook shared insights and data from Facebook IQ research that examines Ramadan across Mena, showing how consumers across the region are making decisions during the month of Ramadan, with mobile technology playing a key role.

Ramadan is a time to connect with family, faith and friends and encourages people to be more social. Like many things in our lives, Ramadan has been influenced by the rise of new technology – especially mobile technology.

Last year, it was discovered that conversations around Ramadan are growing. In comparison to 2016’s seven-week discussion period, conversations about Ramadan started early this year and are expected to last for nine weeks on Facebook amongst UAE’s 8.4 million monthly active users. This trend continues to grow and can be split into three distinct phases.

Phase 1 – Discovery and Inspiration (4 weeks pre-Ramadan)
The pre-Ramadan phase is all about discovery, which is hugely important in a world where people are spending more time on mobile apps than browsers. Fashion is one area where people start planning early. 47% of people surveyed in the UAE begin planning their clothing purchases in the month before Ramadan. Clothing purchases are 1.63x more likely to be planned than impulse buys.

When it comes to Ramadan, Instagram is a place of imagination, artistry and creative power. Where Facebook is often about the more practical aspects of Ramadan – advice, offers, conversation – Instagram is where Ramadan fashion and gifting is put on display. In fact, people talk about fashion 7x more times on Instagram than on Facebook.

Phase 2 – Mobile and Visual (3-4 weeks of Ramadan)
The second phase is about connecting via mobile and visual. During Ramadan, people are most often to be found on their smartphone, posting and sharing images and videos.

Ramadan is a mobile-first month in the UAE, especially for young people, with people sharing Ramadan experiences via mobile, images and video. 4.84x more mobile conversations taking place during Ramadan compared to Non-Ramadan months in the Mena region. Moreover, watching television is among the most popular pastimes during Ramadan, as families gather together to watch specially commissioned shows. But the TV is no longer the only screen in today’s living room. 71% of Facebook users in the UAE say they’re on Facebook while watching TV, with that number rising to 77% for Instagram.

Phase 3 – Shopping decisions for Eid (1 week)
The final phase is all about last minute opportunities at Eid. People are looking for last-minute gifting and travel opportunities. 70% of people in the UAE say they rely on Facebook for gift ideas. Although shopping continues to happen throughout the day, 3 am seems to be the time where usage peaks on Facebook during Ramadan and the optimal time for advertisers to gain the consumer’s attention.

Moreover, travel is an essential ingredient for millions during Ramadan. Whether it’s taking advantage of the long weekend at Eid, there are over 20m interactions with content related to either going on or planning a journey in the UAE and KSA take place on Facebook. Planning travel tends to take place from the months of August-September.

By Angel Chan