“Paid per Tweet” A new growing business in Saudi Arabia

Twitter and other social media sites like Facebook and Instagram have become popular in the Middle East. Twitter usage in Saudi Arabia is increasing day by day. More and More people are drawing towards it in Saudi Arabia. Mobile internet usage is increasing and this high level is causing the growth of Twitter in the Kingdom. In 2011, Saudi Prince Waleed bin Talal invested $300 million in Twitter. The Saudi billionaire expanded his media empire into social sites giving him a stake in the social networking site that is commonly used in the Arab world.

Writing a tweet takes hardly 20 to 30 seconds and getting paid for this tweet would not be surprising. It’s a new advertising technique for companies. The celebrities get paid for the sponsoring tweets and the advertisement reaches thousand and millions of fans of the celebrity in just a few seconds. Famous TV star, Kim Kardashian, gets paid for her single sponsored tweet SR 75,000 ($20,000). This trend has begun in Saudi Arabia as well. Saudi celebrities on Twitter are also being paid for sponsored tweets. Exposure of the brand through this type of advertisement is guaranteed.  Most celebrities do not announce that their tweet was sponsored, this makes the situation uglier. Followers love to know which products their favorite celebrities use and when the celebrities tweet the product only for getting paid, it seems that the followers are being misled.

Some people buy twitter followers. In the Kingdom, some companies charge between $70 and $270 for adding up to 10,000 new followers to the twitter account of the customer. A Mysterious Saudi Arabian tweeter with the name of Mujtahid is known for his anti-royal tweets with more than 1 million followers has returned to Twitter after his account was suspended earlier. He has created a controversy about the royal family and accused them of various allegations. At the meeting with King Salman; Michelle Obama’s missing scarf drew Twitter fire in Saudi Arabia. An Islamic country where women are supposed to cover their head and some cover their faces as well, however foreigners are not required to follow this dress code.

Paid tweets should begin with the ad; this was recommended by Federal Trade Commission in the USA. This will indicate that what follows is meant or advertisement and just a paid tweet. Although this is not the case in Saudi Arabia, still some of the celebrities do announce that it’s for marketing purpose whereas most of them don’t. Twitter even plans to open an office in Dubai as the popularity seems to grow significantly in recent times in the Middle East. In 2012, Twitter usage grew by 42 %. The highest number of active Twitter users in the Arab region is Saudi Arabia.

Even King Salman has his own twitter account and was recorded as one of the fastest growing Twitter profile in the world. Saudi Arabia accounts for about the 40percent of tweets per day in the Middle East. Mohamad bin Abdul Rahman al-Arefe is among the highest Twitter audience in Saudi Arabia. He is an Islamic theologian. Twitter has widely gained popularity among the Saudis.