Social media users in the 'Arab' world

Never too sure what ‘Arab world’ even means, but I really liked this article about social media use there. Some interesting observations from people in Facebook, D1G, TootCorp and GamePower7.

It is clear that catering for the Arabic user goes much further than user interface translation and that we cannot regard such users as homogeneous:

An interface in Arabic is not necessarily the most important factor in reaching Arab users. Rather cultural appropriateness is most important, as it’s not about getting the content translated; it’s about creating the material that would be culturally relevant. There are important regional idiosyncrasies that need to be taken into consideration.

In the case of Facebook alone, 15 to 20 percent of users in the Arab world converted to the Arabic interface while some countries such as Saudi Arabia saw adoption rates increase. And all with little campaigning and advertising; underlining the case for localization.

Excellent thoughts on a subject we don’t hear enough about!

Ultan Ó Broin
Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally. Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.


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