Social media has been flourishing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. While the younger generation has been using social media for communication and information sharing, businesses have been using it for marketing. Social media has now found a place in the digital landscape of Saudi Arabia, and it is bound to capture more attention in the coming years. Let’s look at KSA’s social media statistics in 2023 to see how much of an impact it’s having on the country now.
KSA Social Media Statistics 2023 (Top Picks)
Out of the total population of Saudi Arabia, 35.97 million people i.e. 99% of Saudi Arabians have access to the internet.
Household internet penetration is 99.9% and will remain the same till 2028.
28.81 million people in Saudi Arabia use social media i.e. 79.30% of the total population.
On average, Saudi Arabians spend 7 hours and 20 minutes on the internet.
The average daily social media usage is 3 hours and 1 minute.
In 2023, WhatsApp retained its position as the most popular social media platform with 22.33 million users.
With a 65.8% male audience, men dominate the social media advertising profile of Saudi Arabia.
Facebook contributes the highest web traffic referrals (68.49%) in 2023 KSA.
Saudi Arabia Social Media Statistics [Infographics]
Social Media in Saudi Arabia
With 99% of internet users and 79.3% of social media users in 2023, it is quite evident that Saudi Arabia has transitioned to digital for various reasons, including communication, entertainment, and work.
According to the 2023 statistics, on average, Saudi Arabians spend at least 3 hours and 1 minute a day on different social media platforms. That means marketers now have a golden opportunity to easily connect and engage with their target audience through these channels, more than any other method.
10 Popular Social Media Platforms in KSA 2023
|Social Media Platforms||Percentage||Users|
|Facebook Messenger||47.70%||12.73 Million|
Saudi Arabians have accepted social media as an integral part of their lives. Among the plethora of social media platforms available, a few coveted ones have gained popularity among netizens. Let’s see which ones made it to the top 10 list.
WhatsApp has been standing strong as the number-one contender since last year. With a staggering 22.33 million users, i.e. 83.7% of the population, it has proven to be a popular communication app in the country. Instagram is close behind with 20.49 million users. Its popularity has encouraged marketers to use it as a tool to expand their reach. Snapchat and Twitter also have ample followers, with 18.38 million and 18.33 million users, respectively. The short video platform TikTok has also gained a significant audience; it currently has 18.04 million users, i.e. 67.4% of the population.
Although Facebook (Meta) is slowly losing its significance among Gen-Z, it still has active users among the older generation. In Saudi Arabia, the platform occupies the sixth spot with 17.69 million users. Apart from WhatsApp, Saudi Arabians also use Telegram and Facebook Messenger for communication. The former has 14.83 million users, while the latter has 12.73 million.
The last two platforms in the top ten list are Pinterest with 7.63 million users and LinkedIn with 6.72 million users.
Note: All of the data presented above is based on the monthly usage of users aged 15 and above.
KSA Social Media Users By Year
If we look at the figures for social media growth in Saudi Arabia, we can clearly see that there has been a steady increase in usage and followers. 2020 was a milestone year as social media users reached 25 million. This number can be attributed to the pandemic, which forced people to stay indoors and seek companionship in an online world. The figure rose to 29.5 million in 2022, and today, in 2023, though it dipped to 28.8 million, it still represents a massive user count.
From 7.6 million in 2014 to 28.8 million in 2023, the astounding increase in social media users is testimony to the fact that social media platforms are here to stay. As all the platforms go through exciting updates and add engaging features, we will only be witnessing upward growth in the coming years.
Social Media Advertising Audience Profile 2023
The demographic breakdown of the social media advertising profile of KSA in 2023 shows that the highest number of users is between the ages of 25 and 34, where males make up 27.9% and females, 13.5%. The second highest category of users is between the ages of 18 and 24 years, where male users are 14.9% and female users, 9.9%. Category 34-45 years has the third largest user population, with 14% male users and 6% female users. People between 45 and 54 years of age make up a smaller portion of the social media advertising profile, with only 4.75% men and 1.82% women.
The category with the lowest social media usage is the 65+ age group, where males are 0.95% and females, 0.6%. In all of the above data, we can see that there is a gender disparity and that males represent a large portion of the social media advertising audience in 2023. They comprise 65.8% of the audience, while females account for 34.2%.
The data secured for social media advertising profiles is a useful list for marketers in Saudi Arabia, as they can create and implement customized marketing strategies based on the demographics of each age group.
Web Traffic Referrals from Social Media
|Social Media Platforms||Percentage|
Social media platforms have overtaken traditional marketing methods like billboards and television advertisements. From selling products to developing brand loyalty, marketers today rely on social media for everything. Even for generating web traffic referrals, social media is considered the most effective way. Here let’s look at the platforms that generate the most traffic to websites in 2023.
With 68.49% web traffic referrals, Facebook is the number platform in 2023 for generating traffic to websites. It is one of the most widely used platforms also. Twitter, which is widely perceived as a platform for real-time news sharing, comes in second. It provides 15.94% of web traffic referrals. Following Twitter is Instagram. Being a product of Meta with a variety of useful and innovative features, the platform accounts for 7.58% of web traffic referrals.
The fourth position is occupied by YouTube with 5.32%. As it covers a wide range of content from educational to informative, marketers can leverage it to bring visitors to their websites.
Pinterest, LinkedIn, Reddit, and Tumblr come next on the list with 2.2%, 0.18%, 0.16%, and 0.11% web traffic referrals respectively.
10 Main Reasons for Using Social Media in KSA 2023
There is no doubt that social media is widely used in Saudi Arabia. According to a random survey conducted in the region among 16 to 64-year-olds, the top 10 reasons why people use social media in 2023, KSA are as follows.
45.2% of respondents say they use social media for communicating with friends and family. Social media reduces distances and helps in developing a community feeling among users.
42.8% say they use social media for filling spare time. With news stories, entertaining videos and funny memes, it is easy to get lost in the endless stream of content on social media.
31% say they use social media to find products to purchase. Since the pandemic, shopping habits have drastically changed and customers rely more on digital shopping. The rise of Influencers and fashion bloggers is also shaping customers’ buying decisions.
30.2% say, to stay updated with news around the world.
Other reasons include Making new contacts (29.5%), Watching or Following Sports (28.3%), Following Celebrities or Influencers (26%), Finding inspiration for Things to do or Buy (25.7%), Reading News Stories (24.4%) and Finding Content (23.6%).
Note-The above mentioned are the primary reasons why internet users aged 16-64 use social media platforms.
Read on to find out about Saudi Arabia social media statistics 2022.
Table of Content
- KSA Social Media Statistics 2022 (Top Picks)
- Saudi Arabia Social Media Statistics 2022 (Infographics)
- Social Media in Saudi Arabia
- Popular Social Network Platforms in KSA 2022
- Social Media User Growth in KSA (2014 – 2022)
- Social Media Advertising Audience Profile KSA 2022
- Web Traffic Referrals from Social Media in KSA 2022
- 10 Main Reasons for Using Social Media in KSA 2022
- Social Media Usage Statistics of Saudi Arabia : 2021 Infographics
KSA Social Media Statistics 2022 (Top Picks)
- Almost 98% of the Saudi Arabian population use the internet in 2022.
- 29.50 million people in KSA are social media users .
- On average, Saudi Arabian people spend 3 hours and 24 minutes a day on social media.
- WhatsApp is the most popular social networking platform in KSA, with 30.67 million users.
- 65.3% of the social media advertising audience profile consists of men, while only 34.7% is women.
- Among all platforms, Facebook accounts for 63.23% of web traffic referrals.
Saudi Arabia Social Media Statistics 2022 (Infographics)
Social Media in Saudi Arabia
It is worth noting that social media is becoming an integral part of the Saudi Arabian lifestyle. Today in 2022, 29.50 million people are using social media and users are spending an average of 3 hours and 24 minutes on it daily. This year there is an increase of 1.7 million users and 20 minutes of daily usage time compared to 2021.
- In 2022, the total Saudi Arabian population is pegged at 35.84 million. 35.09 million of them are internet users.
- Compared to 2021, there is a 1.51 million increase in total internet users in 2022. Daily internet usage has also increased by 20 minutes. The current daily average time spent on the Internet by Saudi Arabian people is 8 hours and five minutes.
Popular Social Network Platforms in KSA 2022
|Social Media Platforms||Percentage||Users (Million)|
|Facebook Messenger||43.30%||15.19 M|
There are many social networking platforms in KSA but their user population varies considerably. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to social networks. People who like Facebook might not be interested in Pinterest and vice versa. Also, there may be people who are active on more than five platforms or just WhatsApp. So, let’s look at the 10 most popular social media platforms in Saudi Arabia 2022.
- With a total of 30.67 million users, WhatsApp is popular among 87.4% of the internet’s total population.
- 27.40 million internet users or 78.10% prefer Instagram to other social media platforms.
- Twitter currently has 25.23 million active users, which is about 71.9% of the total internet users.
Social Media User Growth in KSA (2014 – 2022)
Social media users in Saudi Arabia are increasing by the day. Currently, 29.5 million people use social media out of 35.09 million internet users. Every social media platform in Saudi Arabia now has a sizable user base. Here’s a table that shows the social media user growth over the past 9 years.
- In KSA, 21.9 million new people have joined social media in the past 9 years.
- There was a significant decline in the number of social media users in 2019. Approximately 2 million users abandoned social media for reasons unknown.
- In 2020, maybe due to the pandemic, 2 million new sign-ups were reported. Since then, 4.9 million new social media users have been added.
Social Media Advertising Audience Profile KSA 2022
Social Media Advertising Audience Profile gives you an idea of the gender and age-wise distribution of people on Facebook, Instagram and FB Messenger.
- Males dominate in all age categories.
- Both male and female users are the highest in the 25-34 age category, where males make up 30.4% and females, 16.6%.
- 35-54 age group has the second-highest share of male users (13.40%) while the second-highest female users are in the 18-24 category (7.5%).
- Males account for 65.3% of the audience and females, 34.7%.
Web Traffic Referrals from Social Media in KSA 2022
Web traffic referrals from social media or social media referrals have their own importance in 2022. Since 32.60% of internet users in KSA log in to social media for making purchases, investing in social media can turn out to be a successful bet.
- In 2022, Facebook is the best platform for advertisers and marketers. With 63.23% referral traffic, it is three times more powerful than Twitter in driving traffic to websites.
- Twitter is the second most promising platform for marketing. It is able to generate 21.85% of web traffic.
- The third position is occupied by YouTube with 6.41%.
- The other platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are responsible for only 4.05% and 2.5% of the web traffic respectively.
10 Main Reasons for Using Social Media in KSA 2022
|10 Main Reasons for Using Social Media||Percentage|
|Keeping in Touch with Friends & Family||46.20%|
|Filling Spare Time||46.10%|
|Finding Products to Purchase||32.60%|
|Reading News Stories||31.50%|
|Making New Contacts||31.00%|
|Seeing What’s being Talked about||29.40%|
|Celebrities & Influencers||28.60%|
|Looking for Things to do or Buy||27.30%|
|Activities for Work||22.80%|
Following Covid-19, social media usage has exploded in Saudi Arabia. During Covid-19, social networks helped people stay in touch with their family and friends living far away. Though that’s a reality, people use social media for different purposes. Let’s take a look at the top ten reasons why Saudi Arabia use social media in 2022. This survey was recently conducted among KSA internet users within the age group 16-64 years:
- 46.2% of internet users say they use social media to connect with their family and friends.
- With 46.1% votes, the second popular reason is filling spare time.
- Finding products to purchase has 32.6% votes and is reportedly the third most important reason to use social media in 2022.
(You can read about the Saudi Arabia Social Media Statistics for 2021 below.)
Social Media Usage Statistics of Saudi Arabia : 2021 Infographics
Social Media in The Kingdom
|Total population of Saudi Arabia||35.08 million||100%|
|Internet users in Saudi Arabia||33.58 million||93.31%|
|Active social media users||27.80 million||72.38%|
Saudi Arabia currently has a total population of 35.08 million. Of that population, 27.08 million or 79.25% are active social media users. Saudi youth make up to 75% of the total UAE population. This majority has been the game changers which has thrust Saudi Arabia to the top position on the global social media charts.
Today, Saudi Arabia has the largest social media presence in the world. With 40.20 million mobile subscribers, mobile penetration stands at 116% of the total population. The major reason for the high number of active social media users is due to the high rate of smartphone ownership. With more than 84% of the country living in urbanized areas, with super-fast internet connections, it comes as no surprise that the active social media users stand at 25 million, an incredible 72.38% of the population. According to reports from Hoot Suite and We are Social, Saudis are the largest group of active users on Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat in the region. The average time a Saudi spends on social media via any device is 3 hours and 02 mins daily.
Most Popular Social Network Platforms
|Social Media Platform||Users (in million)||Percentage%|
As with the digital world, video content reigns in the sphere of online media consumption, especially in the Arab world. Millennials in the MENA region spend over three hours per day on online video, even surpassing time spent on messaging apps and games.
Think With Google MENA, an online resource from Google with data, analysis and insights on the digital world in the MENA region. The report throws light on the online trends present among the younger generation in the Arab world and has revealed the pre-eminence of video content among millennials in the Arab world. With 68% of people in Saudi Arabia and the UAE consuming video through digital rather than TV, YouTube tops the list of social channels with 31.40 million viewers, which is a whopping 89.50% of the total social media users.
YouTube is The Rising Star
When it comes to dedicated YouTube fans, Saudi Arabian fans dominate. The Gulf country is the biggest user of the video-sharing platform per capita globally and YouTube is actually one of the most popular brands in Saudi Arabia.
The most popular Saudi YouTuber is Mohamed Moshaya, with a total of 8.1 billion views on his channel, according to Social Bakers. Moshaya calls himself as the “largest family vlogger in the Middle East”. Think With Google MENA emphasized the fact that Middle Eastern millennials are parents and YouTube is a big part of the family experience. In fact, over 90% of mothers watch popular videos like Baby Shark on YouTube with their kids every day. In the region, over 40% of fathers turn to YouTube for guidance and young moms and dads unwind at the end of the day by watching YouTube comedies.
The Rest of The Social Pack
YouTube is closely followed by Instagram and Facebook.
Instagram’s user base has grown to 26.80 million active users in 2021. The Los Angeles-based model, Roz who calls herself “the first female model from Saudi Arabia” is the most popular account in the Kingdom, with an incredible 12.1 million follower base.
Facebook is slightly behind Instagram with 25.92 million. Mohamad al-Arefe is the most followed Saudi-based page on Facebook while Islamic Muslim scholar Aid al-Qarni is second.
There are 25.05 million Saudis on Twitter and that’s 58% of the social media reach. With 13.96 million, LinkedIn users are in Saudi Arabia, it makes up 39.80% of the social media pie. LinkedIn is followed by Pinterest (10.21 million) and Tumblr (6.24 million)
Video streaming and messenger apps dominate the mobile activity. It’s unsurprising then, that the platforms with the highest penetration across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are YouTube and WhatsApp.
Most Popular Messenger Apps
|App||Users (in million)||Percentage %|
Free messaging services beats paid messaging services any day. And for a country like KSA, where some traditional and conventional rules still apply, messaging peers through messaging giants like WhatsApp (28.24 million) and Snapchat (18.73 million) have gained popularity owing to it being free as well.
There are 18.98 million Saudis on FB Messenger followed by 15.61 million on Tik Tok. With 9.09 million Skype users are in Saudi Arabia, it makes up 23%. This is followed by LINE (7.26 million) and Wechat (7.96 million).
Social Media Advertising Audience Profile
What’s in Store?
All data point to the fact that millennials and Gen Z-ers are the ones who will call the shots by influencing decisions and changes. Understanding their behavioral patterns will help marketers add value to their life through the rightly targeted services and products. Your brand should speak to this Saudi generation using the content they enjoy.
Looking for ways to reach Saudi Arabia’s social media savvy millennial and Gen Z generations with high-purchasing power? GMI has helped formulate the social media strategy for the Middle East and GCC region for some of the world’s biggest brands. Get in touch with our team and we help your brand take on uniquely crafted digital strategies that are sure to reach your target group.
Disclaimer: GMI acknowledges that though we try to report accurately, we cannot verify the absolute facts of everything that has been represented on this infographic. The information represented is based on information researched from various sources on the internet. We are not liable for any errors, financial loss, or damages of any kind that may result from the use of, or reliance on, the information herein.
Reference URL: We Are Social Blog
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