Mena users spend an average 90 minutes daily with short-form content online

Short-form content makes up for 15% of total time spent by users on media platforms across the region

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Online users in the Middle East and North Africa consume a large amount of short-form content, spending an average of 90 minutes daily with it, according to a report by management consultancy RedSeer.

Digital media adoption in Mena is high compared to other regions, with users spending about two to two-and-a-half hours daily on social media apps and messaging platforms, a report titled Short-form: The Next Disruption in Digital Media said.

Short-form content is typically considered to be content of fewer than 1,200 words in length. They are usually in formats that are easily understandable and visually appealing to users. It makes up for 15 per cent of total time spent by users on media platforms across the Mena region.

"What is remarkable is the exponential speed with which short-form content has taken to this region," said Sandeep Ganediwalla, RedSeer’s managing partner in Mena. "The potential of short-form content is high.”

Social media usage and digital content consumption, which was already high in the Middle East, has increased following pandemic-induced social distancing restrictions. About 75 per cent of users who were polled by consultancy PwC said last year that their use of apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp, TikTok and Instagram has increased during the pandemic.

The time spent by Mena users on digital media increased to 80 per cent last year, from 70 per cent in 2018, RedSeer said.

Going forward, short-form videos will dominate a major portion of content consumed, the report said. This bodes well for businesses as short-form content users will try to discover products through online content.

Social media app TikTok, which allows users to create short videos, will be used by more than half of consumers to discover products and services this Black Friday, the report said.

"Short-form users are higher online spenders than non-users across product categories. The variation in spend is anywhere between 40 per cent and 130 per cent, depending on the category. This bodes well from a monetisation standpoint," the report said.

Updated: August 09, 2021, 5:30 AM