Social Impact of Digital Media: Growth Pattern of Facebook in the Arab World

An online survey is reported that was carried out with more than 385 social media users aged 18 and over and extracted from nine Arab countries; Bahrain, Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Jordan and Yemen. This research focuses on the use of Facebook by a selected group called Open Media Library (OML) which have interests in social media use. The aim of this research is to understand how and why users utilise Facebook and what their attitudes and perceptions are towards the purposes of Facebook. It examines how OML users utilise information and knowledge posted on Facebook, their preferred topics and motivations and the gratifications they obtained. As stated in the literature, this research confirms that Facebook can be used/defined as communication, collaboration and resource-sharing, as well as for intercultural communication and intercultural relationships. Curiosity and escapism, communication and experience, friendship and entertainment and identification of news and events are the main motivations for using Facebook. The findings are discussed in terms of their implications for the future of social media and its impacts on intercultural communication, media use and intercultural relationships.