The number of social network users in the Middle East is expected to grow by23.3% in 2013, creating a new opportunity for small businesses to engage with even more potential customers.

While most startups are already on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, they might not realize that less conventional social networks like Instagram, Pinterest, and blog platform Tumblr are also wildly popular in the region and are growing quickly. Here’s why they can no longer afford to bypass these three:


instagramInstagram is one of the fastest growing social networks in the region. The platform allows users to instantly share, edit, and comment on pictures and images through the platform’s smartphone app, which is available on both Android and iOS.

Why you should care about Instagram:

  • Instagram is the fourth most popular social network in the Arab world after Facebook, Twitter and Google, according to a report published by Northwestern University in Qatar.
  • There are more than 100 million active Instagram users worldwide, who share around 40 million pictures per day, which receive 8,500 likes and 1,000 comments each second.
  • A study recently published by Simply Measured agency shows that the rate of interaction with pictures posted by businesses has increased by 35% during the last year.
  • On May 2nd, Instagram launched a new feature that allows users to tag pictures they post, linking not just to users, but also to businesses. On Facebook, this feature enhanced interaction with businesses; analysts expect the same on Instagram.


Tumblr is a microblog service that allows users to create content on customizable blogs, and then easily re-blog, share, and comment on content within the community.

Why you should care about Tumblr:

  • Tumblr hosts 102 million individual microblogs, which contain a total of 44.6 billion posts that are visited by almost 30 million users per month.
  • Social Snap statistics show that a Tumblr user spends about 1 hour and 38 minutes a day browsing the site, which is more than the time users spend searching on Bing, and only a few minutes less than the average time spent on YouTube.
  • Tumblr users are almost divided equally among males and females.


pintrestOn Pinterest, users each have their own “Pin Board” where they can post and like pictures, video clips, and links. Users can browse other Pin Boards based on their interests and share the items they like with their friends.

Why you should care about Pinterest:

  • By the end of last year, Pinterest had the highest growth rate in the world among all social networks, reaching 1047%.
  • According to several studies published recently, Pinterest users represent the best category to be targeted by marketing campaigns compared to other social networks as they tend to be higher income earners.
  • 79% of Pinterest’s users are female.
  • 25 of the Fortune 100 companies use Pinterest to promote their brands and products.
  • Pinterest is the fourth most popular social network website globally.