Some 2 million Egyptian’s have joined the popular social networking site Facebook over the past three months.
At the start of 2011, the number of Facebook users in Egypt was 4.7 million, increasing to 6.65 million on 1 April. The boom in numbers was four times greater than for the same period last year, during which only 500,000 new users joined the site.
The massive rise in numbers is largely a result of the 25 January revolution, during which facebook served as something of a revolution operations room, used by revolutionaries to exchange information, opinions and advice.
The site also served as a media outlet for moment-by-moment news, videos and pictures, which served to attract many new users.
However, the revolution did not only affect Facebook users in Egypt; usage of the site increased massively in all Arab countries. Arab users in total increased by 100 percent over the past four months, with 14 million new Arab users, bringing the total number — including Egyptians — to 28 million.
On 26 January, the Egyptian authorities blocked Facebook and other social networking sites after Egyptians used them to call for mass protests. The regime then disconnected the internet on 27 January for a week, resulting in financial losses equal to US$9 billion.
Translated from the Arabic Edition