SnapChat enthusiasts can be found in countries across the globe but the world’s number one users of the social media app reside in a surprising location: in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where the app’s popularity is today unmatched and where the love for the Snap has been mainly attributed to the privacy it provides in comparison to other social networking platforms. Coming in second after Riyadh’s residents are those of Jeddah.
According to Ozy.com, there are currently around 9 million daily users of SnapChat in the Kingdom, with more than half of them women and 50 percent of that figure who use the app to regularly ask for personal advice because they trust the privacy it provides. As SnapChat does not save any data, images, or video, it is no wonder why it has become the popular choice for those in the still conservative Kingdom.
The site reports that Saudis use SnapChat’s camera at an average of 40 times per day, up to 45 times in the month of Ramadan, and they spend a decent amount of time, 35 minutes to be exact, each day surfing Snaps. In fact, 42 percent of Saudi users start their morning browsing the app and 37 percent watch it before going to sleep.
Today, SnapChat’s popularity in the Kingdom’s two major cities has led to the emergence of online Saudi celebrities such as Alanoud Badr, Lama al-Akeel, Mahmoud Sidani, and sister duo Thana and Sakhaa Abdul.
The rising popularity of apps such as SnapChat has been in larger due to the greater vision of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who today is seen as the architect of a social and economic reform plan to reduce Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil and diversify its economy. Within this vision, the Crown Prince has sought to develop the Kingdom’s technology industry, wooing companies such as SnapChat, which is reportedly in talks to open a new office in Saudi Arabia and enter a content partnership deal with the Crown Prince’s youth empowerment MiSK Foundation.