LONDON: The results of a new survey on social media use in Saudi Arabia revealed on Thursday that WhatsApp is the most commonly used app in the Kingdom and has the highest top-of-mind awareness among Saudi adults.
The survey, conducted by the Saudi Center for Public Opinion Polling, sampled 1220 adults in the Kingdom during February 2022.
Results indicated that 92 percent of Saudis use WhatsApp, 79 percent YouTube, 77 percent Snapchat and 61 percent Twitter, while Instagram and TikTok account for 58 percent and 51 percent, respectively.
The study also revealed a relatively low usage of Facebook and LinkedIn in the Kingdom, with 88 percent of people absent from the platforms. Respondents noted the specific job-search and recruitment focus of LinkedIn.
Meanwhile, in terms of top-of-mind awareness, WhatsApp came first, with 33 percent of respondents saying it is the first app that comes to mind, followed by Snapchat with 30 percent, Twitter with 20 percent and Instagram with 7 percent.
Just 4 percent of respondents claimed that they did not use any of the applications.
The survey also studied the gender and age variations in terms of app usage.
Men tend to use Twitter and YouTube more, while women prefer Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok.
In terms of age, the results revealed that Saudis aged over 45 prefer WhatsApp, YouTube and Twitter, while the younger group aged between 18 and 29 showed higher relative usage of Snapchat, TikTok and Instagram.
The results revealed that WhatsApp was the most preferred application (32 percent). It was followed by Snapchat (26 percent), Twitter (12 percent), YouTube (9 percent), TikTok (8 percent) and Instagram (7 percent).
Saudis who prefer WhatsApp are older, while those who prefer TikTok and Snapchat tend to be younger, the survey found.
Respondents were asked about the positive and negative effects of using social media apps. About 75 percent of people quoted positive effects, noting communication, self-learning and exchanging information as the top positive outcomes of app usage.
On the other hand, 48 percent of respondents thought that social media has negative effects, causing time-wasting, health problems and isolation from society. Respondents were also concerned over the spread of false information and the weakening of family relations.