“We’ve been watching TikTok’s growth in the GCC region for a year now and it's clear the platform's popularity continues to grow,” Fares Ghneim, partner at Anavizio told Arab News.
“The controversy around the platform in the US during the summer and autumn of 2020 did nothing to slow TikTok’s growth in the region and anecdotally we’re also starting to see some brands take to the platform which is something that we will be watching more closely in the coming months.”
This rapid growth has also led to a dynamic influence scene with new influencers emerging on the platform frequently. However, some influencers and trends have remained constant.
For instance, influencers from Saudi Arabia and the UAE still dominate the regional top 10 and UAE-based Jumana Khan (@jumana_khan_) retains the number one spot with 8.9 million followers.
However, the strongest growth in percentage terms comes from Oman and Qatar, where follower numbers among the top three influencers grew by a huge 674 percent and 658 percent respectively.
The top 10 influencers in the GCC post anywhere from 2 to 24 videos per week, receiving an average of 350 views.
Anavizio doesn’t track other social media platforms as they are already established, while TikTok is relatively new. Despite TikTok’s rapid growth, it has not yet reached the level of other platforms. “A top regional influencer on Instagram might have 30-40 million followers and multiple deals with brands, whereas the top TikTok influencer in the GCC has 9 million followers,” said Ghneim. “However, at the rate things are going, this gap will narrow over the next couple of years.”