DUBAI: People in the UAE are spending up to six hours a day on social media, according to a survey which identifies Facebook as by far the most popular networking site.

Research firm YouGov polled more than 5,000 residents of the United Arab Emirates and found that millennials spent anywhere between two and six hours daily on social media; older groups typically spent between half an hour and two hours a day there.

Eight in ten (82%) visited Facebook several times a week, AME Info reported, while YouTube was visited by 58% and LinkedIn by 26%. Platforms like Flickr, Foursquare, Reddit and Tumblr were accessed by less than 2% of respondents.

The survey also noted that certain platforms were more likely to be associated with certain devices. Thus, 72% of people using Facebook did so via smartphone, while half (52%) of those going to LinkedIn preferred to use a laptop.

"Our research confirms how social media today plays an integral role in the lives of UAE residents," said Nehal Hassan Jibouri, director/consumer research at YouGov MENA.

"It serves two main desires," she added. "It fulfils [but also creates] a need to share precious moments with others and has also become a means to gain, gather and exchange information."

Four in ten said they shared content on Facebook daily, including personal photos (58%), status updates (39%), personal opinions (36%) and viral videos and news (35%).

A similar proportion indicated that social media was the "most helpful and influential way" they were able to discover, experience and gain information about brands and products.

"There's no surprise we are witnessing companies give their marketing and communications strategies a complete makeover," remarked Jibouri.

"We're observing a gradual shift away from the use of traditional platforms to reach key audiences in favour of carving a path to them through social media channels and specifically social media ambassadors."

Data sourced from AME Info; additional content by Warc staff