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Facebook versus Twitter: Are Oman's social media users making a switch?

Muscat: Social media giant Twitter could be forgiven for starting the hashtag #omansuccess after more than doubling the number of active users in Oman in a single year.


The number of active users of social media tool in the Sultanate has gone from 14,000 in 2012 to 38,000 in 2013. The number is expected to go above 40,000 this year, according to Salma Al Hajry, chief executive of Fikrah for Digital Media.

The total number of accounts, rather than active users, on Twitter in Oman also increased from around 200,000 in 2012 to 300,000 in 2013. 

Talking to Times of Oman, Salma Al Hajry claimed that the spurt in the number of twitter users in Oman was because of the 60 per cent users of Facebook here have moved to Twitter during this period. "Twitter provided them simple, more open and convenient tool of communication," she said.

Nimble and quick tool
She said that Twitter in Oman, as elsewhere in the world, had become a nimble and quick tool for spreading news and views. 

"Users should utilise Twitter for promoting positive things, introducing their specialisation and making credible information spread faster," she said. Speaking on the sidelines of First Twitter Forum of Oman, and the launch of first twitter award in the country, Salma Al Hajry said the forum was designed to give positive direction to the use of Twitter in the country. 

An eco-system in different areas and fields should be developed and people should move from the stage of general users to specialised users. They should serve areas like civil society, religion, education and do marketing through this tool. 

About the relations between the social media and traditional media, Salma Al Hajry said that traditional media was promoting itself through social media. 

"Similarly, we the people from social media need traditional media," she said.

The day-long First Twitter Forum of Oman discussed various aspects of social media, including its relations with the traditional media, rules and regulations, information technology and future opportunities. It was addressed by Omani social media and new media experts as well as those from other Arab countries.
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