Mostafa was an Internet entrepreneur around 2000 and crashed like many web businessmen did in those days and repositioned his business around the mobile after the bubble burst. He explains how Facebook is fraught with difficulties in the region (a point already made in the Media Arab Outlook by the Dubai Press Group).Showing one's picture is an issue in the country and even spending a million Egyptian pounds didn't lead to more than 30 uploads in a particular campaign Mostafa launched some time ago. The ROI is not there, and there are too many privacy and modesty issues in Egypt.
Similarly, Egyptians are reluctant to publish their videos online on Youtube, it simply doesn't work. Besides, local people would feel more comfortable if your had a "Facebook Egypt" for instance, but it won't happen because of legal and intellectual property issues.
Yet there are signs for improvement and what Mostafa calls the trend setters (in other words, the youngsters who feel more at ease with pictures and don't feel so scared about privacy issues) are paving the way for the use of Social Media in the Middle East.
I specialize in information systems, HighTech marketing and Web marketing. I am author and contributor to numerous books and the CEO of Visionary Marketing. As such, I contribute regularly on this blog for Orange Business Services account on cloud computing and cloud storage topics.