We often lament the lack of data on anything in Lebanon and throughout the region, so it’s exciting to see the launch of the Arab Social Media Report, a new quarterly publication from the Dubai School of Government.
The first issue of the Arab Social Media Report, co-authored by Racha Mourtada and Fadi Salem, focuses on Facebook usage in the 22 Arab countries, plus Iran and Israel. It gives a broad look at Facebook adoption and usage demoographics and compares penetration rates to other indices, such as the human development index and the Open Net Initiative’s country profiles of internet filtering practices and the human development index.

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This graph, reprinted from the Arab Social Media Report, compares Facebook penetration with overall Internet penetration in Arab countries. From the first issue of the quarterly Arab Social Media Report from the Dubai School of Government.

In future issues, “we’re hoping to expand the analysis beyond Facebook to other social networking tools, as well as bring some more in-depth focus to individual countries,” Ms. Mourtada posted on the new LinkedIn group for the report.
It’s worth mentioning that the Arab Social Media Report joins good company. In 2009, public relations firm Spot On PR, also based in Dubai, began issuing its own periodic reports on user habits in the region and, thankfully, unlike so many consulting firms who will remain unnamed, makes them all available under a Creative Commons license.