“The Middle East has had a thing for anime since the 80s” – META executive

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Can you tell us about the latest content trends on Instagram in the Middle East, especially in Saudi Arabia?

The Middle East region has one of the highest social media usage rates in the world. Locals have taken to Instagram to champion causes close to their hearts and have successfully sparked waves of digital activism, resulting in content focused on sharing information and educating people. communities. It also allowed others to find their own voice in these movements.

We have also seen growing interest in Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) among our communities as the buzz around concepts such as the Metaverse and Web3 continues.

Content creators across the region creatively used our Spark AR features to bring out the spirit of Ramadan and heighten the celebrations of the holy month with filters from @Bdanabol and @aymen_ghnia topping the list.

Reels content has also grown with content covering everything from celebrating Saudi coffee to the back of declaring the year 2022 as the Year of Saudi Coffee, to anime and K-pop content, and the latest hits on Netflix.

Moon Baz, head of entertainment partnerships for the MENA region and Turkey at Meta. (Provided)

Can you tell us more about the popularity of animated content on the platform?

The Middle East has had a soft spot for anime since the 80s. Japanese art has inspired Arab creators to use anime to express themselves, incorporating Arab culture and sensibilities into its character and build settings. of the world.

With the rise of local anime creation, fans of the medium are increasingly turning to Instagram as a platform to showcase their talents. To date, the hashtag #anime has attracted nearly one million followers in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Kuwait on Instagram.

Regional creators explore the full gamut of the anime universe with manga, cosplay, origami, and folktale anime productions that come together on the platform and redefine the boundaries of the medium through its originality.

Talents like Jassim Al Mohannadi use Instagram to post original animated productions spiced up with Middle Eastern flavors. Jasim has published 21 chapters of his own Arabic manga creations on WEBTOON under the title “Justice in the Wasteland” and wrote the Middle Eastern manga “Primeval”. Others like Reem (@renberryart) have been able to turn their impressive anime illustration skills into a source of income on Instagram. Everything from animated movie characters to Mirko and Tengen fusions can be found on Reem’s emerging storefront.

We are thrilled to witness the incredible Japanese art shaping the creative communities of the Middle East and making Instagram the home of self-expression.

How has fashion and travel content evolved on the platform?

Instagram is a place to explore, share and advance culture. We see our community heading to places like Explore, Reels, and Stories for inspiration, self-expression, and discovery of all types of content. Yet there’s no doubt that the fashion and travel categories have always been, and continue to be, a cornerstone of the Instagram experience.

There is always a new fashion trend to follow in terms of what to wear and where to shop. Our 2022 Instagram Trends Report showed that Gen Z are now making bold moves with their style choices, using fashion as a vehicle for joy, optimism and self-expression.

They’re also moving away from big-box online retailer websites, as more than half of young people are interested in new shopping experiences, opening up new avenues for small and medium-sized businesses and thrift stores.

In the region, we have seen recent interest in modest fashion where the hashtag #modestfashion grew by 45% in the UAE as designers experimented in the run up to Ramadan.

Travel content has also increased, especially with the boom in Reels. We’ve seen creative content from a plethora of local creators such as Murad and Nataly Osmann and Kasem Hato, who continuously share everything from summer vacation hotspots to hidden gems from around the world through content that elicits a sense of adventure.

What should brands know about current content trends, both in terms of creating their own content and collaborating with creators?

90% of people on Instagram follow a business globally, making it easier for brands to turn content into commerce by building trust with customers through their own channels and collaborating with key thought leaders and creators .

We’ve introduced a range of tools that help brands seamlessly connect and collaborate with creators on Instagram, including Branded Content Ads, Creator Buys and Branded Content Tags, to n to name a few.

Last year, we added a new hub to the Business Dashboard where businesses can find inspiration to spark more content ideas for those who don’t know where to start. Instagram users with business accounts can browse a collection of quality organic and promoted posts from other companies in the hopes that it will inspire them to post their brand-specific content.

There’s so much room to explore and expand brands’ presence online and to make that search easier, we’ve put together guidelines and advice to help businesses amplify their growth based on their goals.

How does Instagram invest in content creators?

Creators are at the heart of culture on Instagram. We are committed to creating a suite of tools to meet the diverse needs and ambitions of creators, whether aspiring, emerging or established.

If you have an idea that you want to share with the world, you should be able to create and spread it easily and simply – on Facebook and Instagram – and earn money for your work. That’s why we’re focused on developing a range of creative and monetization tools on our platforms to meet the different needs and ambitions of creators, whether they’re just getting started or already have an established brand. .

In 2021, we’ve expanded support to fund content for even more creators to produce fun and engaging content that will help them grow their personal brands and earn a living. We also launched @creators to reach even more aspiring creators around the world with best practices, product news, tips and travel.

We have a dedicated creators page, which includes everything a creator needs to know about Instagram – from trends, content tips, success stories, safety and earnings, to guidelines on how to use the tools and latest features.

By the end of 2022, we plan to invest more than $1 billion in programs that give creators new ways to earn money for the content they create on Facebook and Instagram. This investment will include new bonus programs that reward eligible creators for reaching certain milestones when using our creation and monetization tools.

We will also provide seed funding for creators to produce their content. Our goal is to help as many creators as possible find sustainable, long-term success on our apps.

Finally, how does Instagram moderate and monitor content?

When we find content such as a post, comment or story that goes against our community guidelines, we remove it from Instagram. If the content doesn’t violate our Community Guidelines but may be inappropriate, disrespectful, or offensive, we may limit it to Explore, rather than removing it from Instagram.

Our Community Guidelines define what is and isn’t allowed on Instagram, and they apply everywhere in the world. They are designed to encourage expression and create a safe environment on Instagram.

To find, review, and take action on content that may violate the Community Guidelines, we use technology and human reviewers. Artificial intelligence technology is central to our content review process. AI can detect and remove content that goes against our Community Guidelines before anyone reports it.

Other times, our technology sends content to human review teams for them to take a closer look and make a decision on it. These thousands of reviews around the world focus on the content that is most detrimental to Instagram users.

Middle East Anime Content Creators

User: @artistesoosa https://www.instagram.com/artistsoosa/

About: Born in Jeddah, Samah Kamil was the first Arab artist to earn a master’s degree in manga art from the Faculty of Arts & Designs at King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia. Apart from being an artist, she is also the editor-in-chief of Manga Arabia, and leads and facilitates workshops covering a variety of manga-related topics.

Her work, which she posts on Instagram, illustrates Saudi culture through contemporary cartoons, reflecting meaningful storylines with relatable characters and social messages.

User: 6th__kage https://www.instagram.com/6th__kage/

About: The Saudi Arabia-based content creator is an avid gamer who merges the worlds of gaming and anime. He often cosplays his favorite character Kakashi Hatake from the Naruto manga series.

User: @Paris.ae https://www.instagram.com/paris.ae/

About: Taking cosplay to the next level, @Paris.ae comes as an Emirati Kawaii doll bringing anime characters to life.

User: @Renberryart https://www.instagram.com/renberryart/

About: 21-year-old Reem has combined her passion for all things anime and her artistic skills to create digital art that she posts and sells through her Instagram page.

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