Just like Twitter, only popular...

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Congrats to Gaith over at Arabcrunch

, in the Middle East. I'm kicking myself for not thinking of this


The nut of

, is that

has about twice as many users as Twitter is estimated to have here in the region, although the demographics are quite different. In short, Twitter has about 12-15,000 mainly English speaking users, predominantly in the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, while WatWet has about 25,000 users, mainly Arabic speaking, and mainly in Jordan.

My take? Like its sister site

, an Arabic-focussed YouTube

, I think Watwet's biggest advantage is in playing the ground game in the region.

They are better positioned to do deals with regional mobile operators, media companies, even retailers - getting TV, radio or newspapers to use Watwet as a follow / feedback tool, mobile operators to integrate the service, etc.

Not only do Watwet have some pretty smart, experienced people on the business side, but Twitter is simply too busy taking over the world to bother with the hassle and the details in a region with so few users. The pie is so big, and growing so fast, that there is plenty to share around - and I get the feeling that unlike Facebook-style social networking, the whole microblogging / "follow" concept is not going to trend toward a natural monopoly forever.