Facebook users in the Middle East and Africa use the site in some surprisingly different ways

M-Pesa

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Facebook now has 191 million users in the Middle East and Africa, 85% of who are visiting via mobile.

Mendelsohn described what a difference that makes: “I was in Nairobi, Kenya, earlier this year and their whole payment system there is mobile. M-Pesa is unbelievable. So you can be walking down the streets of a market, and the market will be no different to something that you could have been in a thousand years ago, but everyone is trading by using their mobile phone. And you kind of go, ‘well how come I can go shopping on the streets of London and it’s unfathomable [to be able to do that]?’ So there’s a lot we can learn from being over there.”

…Mendelsohn told us she met a number of female entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia through an organization called Glowork. They’re using Facebook as way to sell their products.

…In 2014, Facebook introduced “missed call” units in India. When a user in India sees an ad on Facebook they can place a “missed call,” by clicking that ad from their mobile. In return, they’ll receive a call such as music, cricket scores, or messages from celebrities, from the advertiser.

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Entrepreneurs Are Using Instagram to Sell Everything From Sweaters to Sheep

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For most people, Instagram is a way to share tastefully distressed photographs of their lives and meals. But some clever people have turned Instagram into a business.

See also this related article.

 

A rising class of Instagram entrepreneurs in Kuwait is selling comics, makeup and sheep

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Kuwaiti officials worrying about how to bring down the gulf state’s unemployment rate, estimated at more than 3%, may have another resource to tap besides crude oil: Instagram. The photo-sharing service is becoming popular among local entrepreneurs selling everything from makeup to Manga comics. The American University of Kuwait held an event in April featuring entrepreneurs who could teach others how they grew their businesses and “made it” on Instagram.