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There’s A New Rule in Saudi Arabia for Influencers

And it promotes regulation of the market. Let us know what you think.

Saudi Influencer and Content Creator Yara Al Namlah

Saudi Arabia has now launched a new platform, "Mawthooq," which will be providing permits for influencers looking to earn revenue through social media advertisements. Each permit will cost around SAR15,000 (or around $4,000), with 3-year validity, and will be issued to both Saudi and non-Saudi influencers. However, advertising agencies representing non-Saudi influencers will be required to first obtain an investment license from the Saudi Ministry of Investment.

According to the General Commission for Audiovisual Media (GCAM), the commission behind Mawthooq, influencers will also be required to abide by certain terms when obtaining a license. This includes abiding by the commission's guidelines, and age and content restrictions, as well as being able to provide data when requested. Furthermore, the Acting Minister of Media of Saudi Arabia, Majid Bin Abdullah Al Qasabi, had stated that failure to obtain a license may result in a SAR5 million (or over $1.3 million) fine or a five-year prison term.

"The [social media] market is so unregulated. We're not against influencers or those individuals. Actually, we want to enable them. If you check out the new bylaw, it protects them also, because the bylaw regulates their relationship with the advertisers," Esra Assery, the CEO of GCAM, told Arab News in a recent article. In fact, Saudi Arabia began setting up the system in June following violations by numerous non-Saudi advertisers.

Since the late 2000s, social media has increased in registered users, but also influencers investing on social media platforms. According to the website Smart Insights, almost 60% of the world's population is now on social media, with many users using the platforms in search of products to buy. 

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