Facebook is continuing to grow, shooting past 1 billion users, but where are these people coming from? A new report from social statistics firm Socialbakers shows that many of them are coming from the Middle East and North Africa region, which accounts for an average of 21 new registrations per minute.
With 36 percent of its population active on the network, the United Arab Emirates shows the highest proportion of its inhabitants on Facebook among Arab-land countries, according to an Arab social media report prepared by the Dubai School of Government, as reported by Mashable.
Top hero in Tunisia is probably not a status update Mark Zuckerberg ever thought would appear on his Facebook wall. Yet that is exactly what Arizona Republican Senator John McCain has anointed the chief executive officer of Facebook after a visit to Tunisia this month.
While just about every Arab nation appears to want the same kind of results that Egypt and Tunisia have had from their protests organized on Facebook, Lebanese posts on the site demand but not necessarily a revolution.
Facebook posts call for a Saudi Arabian “day of rage” on March 11, but activists in the wealthy nation haven’t had much success rallying protesters so far.
Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi warned against the use of Facebook, but rallies in Libya appear to be showing support for the dictator, making his warning against using social media seem strange.
Bahrain’s Sh’ite Muslim opposition have been organizing anti-government protests throughout the island nation, starting yesterday in what has been called Day of Wrath, and continuing today.
Just days away from a rally commemorating the two-year anniversary of a major political standoff, Armenian officials are watching for status updates using words like “revolution,” although only four percent of the population uses Facebook.
U.S. Senate Assistant Majority Leader Richard Durbin of Illinois had asked Facebook Chief Executive Officer to allow users to choose anonymity, invoking the political situations in Egypt and Tunisia just a day before the former achieved freedom.
Even without the “crossed wires” effect of today’s victory in Egypt led by activists who didn’t remain anonymous at all, his request seems a bit out of touch with Facebook’s intention of promoting safety on the social network.
As the Egyptian protests enter their second week and the number of possible copy-cat nations in the region continues to grow, I’m seeing some confusion about the scope of Facebook’s role in these so-called revolutions.