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Facebook’s 28 million active daily users are a boon for Mena advertisers

Jonathan Labin, head of Facebook MENA

Facebook has revealed that its monthly active user base has reached 56 million in the Mena region, with 33 million gaining access via mobile devices.

October 1, 2013 4:31 by

The social network claims that approximately half of all users are Facebook-obsessed, since 28 million Mena residents are daily active users. The increased level of engagement is also a massive boon for advertisers, according to Jonathan Labin, Facebook’s Middle East and Africa (MEA) boss.

“We thought it was about time to not just look at how our business has evolved and not just from a user’s point of view, but in terms of how brands are using our services,” says Labin. “Our user base is stronger than ever and our daily reach is bigger than the vast majority of newspapers, magazines, radio stations and most TV stations.”

A lot of businesses look at monthly active users or even the number of users registered to a particular site, which Labin argues is an outdated approach. He adds: “Our clients ask us to deliver the right target audience to them every single day. We want to guarantee we’ll deliver the right users each day.”

Mobile is key for the social network giant, which had 751 million global active users in Q1 of this year. Early last year there was zero mobile advertising, but by Q2 2013, 41 per cent of all advertising revenue was generating via mobile advertising.

Labin admits that the average spend for the ‘rest of the world’ lags behind the spend-per-user in the US, but declined to give specific figures for the region. Adding that for the first time in history digital consumption will surpass TV in the US and that it is expected that the Middle East will not be far behind. The last significant transition similar to this was when TV viewing figures overtook radio in the 1950s.

How Facebook stands out – three key USPs

– The network’s incredible reach allows advertisers to attract a wide audience on a daily basis
– As a platform, it has laser-accurate targeting – by location, demographic, device, etc.
– It has a strong word of mouth aspect – brands are represented peer-to-peer via Likes, interactions and recommendations

Today is also the first day that Facebook’s Graph Search feature allows users to search text posts, or status updates, allowing businesses a greater insight into global and hyper-local trends and conversations. “Graph Search, which we’ve been rolling out gradually, was originally about looking for people and businesses, places and photos,” says Labin.

“Now you can also search posts of friends or other public updates. For example, you could search for posts about the TV show Breaking Bad. We’ve also started working with other companies, through our API, to provide some trend analysis.”

Fast forward to video

Rumours have been present for some time that Facebook-owned photo app Instagram was to incorporate video advertising in order to gain back the $1 billion investment made by Zuckerberg et al. While there are no announcements yet, Labin confirms that Instagram will definitely be monetised over time.

“We have a great video app [for advertisers] that a lot of companies are using. It’s working really well and overall I think video is part of everyone’s life now. It’s become more and more portable, with users shooting through a service like Instagram. So video is a key part of our strategy,” he tells AMEinfo.

This story first appeared on sister publication

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