More than 28m people in the Middle East and North Africa are using Facebook on a daily basis, according to official figures released on Tuesday by the US giant.

Revealing the extent of the region’s love affair with the social network, Facebook also confirmed at a press conference in Dubai that 56m people were active on Facebook every month across the MENA region, with 50 percent of those returning on a daily basis.

Of those, 33m people in MENA used a phone or tablet to access to the service every month, while the number of daily active users on mobiles had reached 15m.

Founded in 2004 by then-College student Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook has grown to more than a 1.1bn monthly active users across the world with the company’s story the subject of Oscar-nominated film The Social Network.

Approximately 82 percent of active Facebook users were outside the US and Canada.

Jonathan Labin, head of Facebook MENA, said: “These figures show that people in MENA are using Facebook in vast numbers, with many returning day after day. Such high levels of engagement are a great indicator that people are finding the service useful and engaging.”

Labin said research showed people who accessed Facebook from a phone or tablet tended to be even more engaged that those on desktop.

The use of Facebook on mobile phones was not surprising given people in the GCC were particularly well connected with a mobile connectivity rate of 196 percent and an average of two SIM cards per person.

Labin said the trend was bound to make “advertising-on-the-go” popular among marketers and advertisers alike.

“We are seeing an increase in the number of advertisers who are turning to Facebook to get their message to the people who matter most,” he said.

Worldwide, Facebook had 699m daily active users, 819m mobile monthly active users and 469m mobile daily active users.

source: Arabianbusiness