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January 25th, 2011 will go down in our history books as the Day of Revolt. What could only be described as a violently pulsing heart, citizens made sure their voices were heard as they took to the streets of Cairo, Egypt, and organized a protest at the Tahrir Square against former president Hosni Mubarak.
We can even identify a tail wags dog effect, since the political nature of the Arab Spring and the revolts against the entrenched status quo that began almost 4 years ago became the biggest drivers of social media growth. Between January and April 2011, the growth in Middle Eastern Facebook users jumped by 30 per cent, soaring to 27.7 million users. In the first quarter of 2011, nearly 23 million tweets were generated in the Arab region, estimating a sum of 252,000 tweets on a daily basis. Unsurprisingly, #Egypt was the most popular hashtag used across the region with 1.4 million mentions in tweets generated in the first quarter of 2011.
The role of Facebook and Twitter in the Egyptian revolution is a prime example. 50,000 citizens gathering at the same spot on January 25th in 2011 day was the result of a single Facebook event page created for this demonstration. The Arab World, dominated for decades by autocratic regimes, is perhaps the most striking example of Social Media and its impacts.