Social media provides a way for people to connect with one another and chronicle their daily lives. In the Middle East, these online platforms have become an even more crucial means of bringing together like-minded individuals from all walks of life. A number of entrepreneurs from across the region have developed startups that make it easier than ever for Internet users to engage in social networking for both personal and professional reasons. Read on to explore seven of the best social media startups in the Middle East today.
The Egypt-based Frien10 is an innovative online social club that helps people discover new friends. After registering with the site using their Facebook accounts, users fill out a profile with pertinent information such as where they live, what they love, and how much free time they have to meet up with other users. Frien10 takes these various metrics and uses them to assign each user to a group of no less than 10 others who share similar interests. Through the startup’s Android application, users can then easily collaborate with their group members to determine when and where they can meet up in real life.
Qatari entrepreneur Pavan Kumar established PegTweets to enable people to interact with their Twitter followers in new ways. An innovative Twitter client, the app makes it easy for individuals to follow trending topics from their local region, manage their connections, and gauge the topics that their followers enjoy most. PegTweets has also automated the process of connecting its users’ Klout scores with their Twitter accounts so that they can regularly assess their online influence.
Perhaps PegTweets’ most groundbreaking feature is its Interactive Tweets tool. With this option, users can easily measure the feedback of their followers by sharing special Tweets and establishing a set response time. Once this period ends, users can view all reactions in the form of a graph and read the comments from each follower. They are then free to publish the results through Twitter or one of their other social media accounts.
Based in Dubai, UAE, Doxunity has developed a social media platform for doctors in the Middle East and North Africa. After establishing an account with the site, physicians can create and manage their own online profile and search other profiles to find any of their colleagues or previous classmates. Doxunity’s secure site makes it simple for healthcare professionals to network and collaborate with each other. The startup even creates a DoxNews feed tailored to the particular medical specialty of each user, thereby enabling doctors to remain current with the latest healthcare developments in their area of interest.
Designed specifically with the import/export industry in mind, Ishto has created a groundbreaking social network for wholesalers of a variety of products, including food, clothing, and agriculture. Business owners who sign up with the site can create a profile that allows them to highlight their various products. By consistently updating this page, they can increase their online presence and establish a diverse body of followers.
Wholesalers can also use Ishto to search for others in their industry. This enables them to collaborate and discuss important market-related topics. Additionally, business owners can follow the profiles of others so that they can communicate with them regularly and see their company’s latest product offerings.
With a name meaning “discuss with me,” Naqeshny has create a groundbreaking online debating platform for Egyptians. The startup’s founders established the site after witnessing the recent segmentation of their society along political lines. To encourage people to develop their own opinions and encourage them to engage with a wide variety of viewpoints, they established an easy way for them to participate in informed discussions.
After registering for the site, users must answer a number of topic-driven questions, the results of which help the site sort them to into color-coded teams comprised of others with similar views. Individuals can then join active debates or initiate their own. Each discussion welcomes the participation of users from either side of a given argument, allowing them to make 300-character comments, vote for the side of the issue that they support, and reply to the positions of others. To encourage the participation of all, Naqeshny offers interfaces in Arabic and English.
Through the Amman, Jordan-based startup Gainist, automobile enthusiasts can connect with one another and find everything they need to keep their rides in top shape. In addition, this online network enables its users to collaborate with people who are looking to buy or sell vehicles. Gainist has thus married social networking with e-commerce in an effort to create new connections between people who love cars.
Headquartered in Beirut, Lebanon, Cuccoo is the first social media site to focus on the concept of crowd mentoring. For those who are looking to overcome difficulties in their life and achieve new goals, the startup provides an online forum through which they can seek help from “crowd-mentors.” Whether they are looking for assistance with their personal relationships, finances, or careers, users can take advantage of the Cuccoo toolkit to reach their objectives.
Individuals can fully customize their personal journey by setting time-sensitive goals and maintaining online journals. To celebrate their own progress, they can also create videos that will unlock as they work towards their objectives. Supplementing this toolkit is the advice and feedback that users receive from Cuccoo’s network of mentors, who support them on their path to a happier life.