Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Facebook Looking forward to Working with Saudi Arabia | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Jonathan Labin, managing director of Facebook Middle East, North Africa & Pakistan. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Dubai – Jonathan Labin, Managing Director of Facebook Middle East, North Africa & Pakistan, said that the social media platform is looking forward to collaborating with the government in Saudi Arabia.

Labin told Asharq Al-Awsat that Facebook will be investing all that is within its ability to back the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 for transformation. He also expressed personal admiration towards what he called a “strategic” roadmap, saying that Facebook can play a role in making the vision come true.

Saudi Vision 2030 shows many common factors with Facebook’s overall strategy, only making it all the more possible for the collaboration to translate those points into physical reality, stated Labin.

When asked about content screening, he stressed that “terror-linked content has no room on Facebook,” and the platform does not allow for exploitation in whatsoever way there is.

According to Labin, Facebook “constantly invests” in both technology and regular human revision to monitor content and remove any suspicious material.

During the last decade, the world has seen a surge in people connecting in both big and small ways using technology. Messaging platforms have a big role to play in our modern-day world.

But nowhere else has the adoption of platforms such as Facebook and Instagram been as rapid as the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Powered by mobile, which has leapfrogged over other technologies, people here recognize the possibilities available at the tap of a screen. This is what will shape 2016, and Facebook is investing in MENA to help partners discover their entrepreneurial dreams and reach their customers. Supplementing the growth of mobile will be creative, shareable and engaging in content.

Facebook recently introduced “Watch” in the United States, a new platform for shows on Facebook.

Watch will be available on mobile, on desktop and laptop, and in our TV apps. Shows are made up of episodes — live or recorded — and follow a theme or storyline. To help a user keep up with the shows they follow, Watch has a Watchlist so they never miss out on the latest episodes.

Labin said that when thinking about video, a shift from text messages to video and images is clear in social communication mediums. Video consumption already hit an unprecedented peak.

Saudi Arabia is an example of Middle Eastern countries with the highest video consumption rates worldwide, added Labin.