Arabic-speaking Facebook users want the social networking site to add an “Insha’Allah” button to the platform for the Middle East and Facebook has indicated that it may be willing to do so in order to boost its regional presence, Bikya Masr reported.
“Facebook has identified a strong wish from Arabic natives to include an “Insha’Allah” (Arabic term meaning “God Willing” that indicates hope for an aforementioned event to occur in the future) button for Facebook events,” Immanuel Simonsen of Multilingual Search, a global search engine for marketing and social media news and analysis, stated.
While Facebook may not be the most popular social media network in the Arab world, he said, this addition “looks to be the first new localized feature for the Arabic market.”
Social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, played a fundamental role in organizing the uprisings throughout the Arab World in 2011. Usage of these networks is growing exponentially as political changes continue to take place, noted the Arabic website.
“A recent infographic about Facebook users in Arabic countries shows there’s still plenty of growth potential in the social media space throughout the region,” Simonsen said.
According to the Arab Social Media Report from the Dubai School of Government, “by the end of 2011, Arab users’ utilization of social media had evolved to encompass civic engagement, political participation, entrepreneurial efforts, and social change.”
There are reportedly 43 million Arab users on Facebook, 66 percent of whom are male and 34 percent female.
The most drastic increase of Facebook usage was in Egypt in September 2011, when the country had a total of 8,791,800 users, compared to 10,643,740 users in May 2012.
“However small this current adding, it’s indicative of Facebook now actively trying to adapt its product to better reflect and accommodate the specific needs of the Arabic world, and representatives from Facebook Arabia have already made it very clear that this is just the first of many alterations to come,” says Simonsen.