Posts launches first Middle East office

Finnish-based Facebook marketing platform,, has launched its first Middle East office in Dubai. The marketing platform provides Facebook and Instagram advertising optimisation tools for leading advertisers in the region. The new office will help brands create and optimise campaigns with first-to-market solutions and features. Tegan Kerr, who previously worked with Effective Measure, takes on the role of Head of MENA along with the new MENA Customers Lead, Valtteri Virtanen, who previously worked in Finland with Dingle. Both will work together to oversee the operations of across the region.

“The explosion of e-commerce and locally-built startups in the Middle East has driven ever-increasing investment in Facebook as a channel, which reaches over 42 million people in the GCC alone,” says Tegan Kerr, Head of MENA, “Our clients are looking for a partner, not just a tool, that gives them the ultimate competitive edge. They’re looking for significant performance improvements and automation across what can often be large-scale and complex campaigns.”

Lovin Dubai expands social media reach

Augustus, a newly launched media agency and the holding company of online guide, Lovin Dubai, has merged all its social media channels with 7DAYS UAE. Following the closure of the weekly newspaper in December 2016, Augustus has purchased the social media handles for 7DAYS UAE, which has accumulated a massive social media following across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook over the years.

“Social media plays a crucial role in how media is consumed today,” says Richard Fitzgerald, Editor, Lovin Dubai. “We are delighted to take on the profiles of 7DAYS UAE both regarding assuming a broad audience that now has a gap in their daily newsfeed and accepting the responsibilities that go along with it. It is an honour and a privilege to be able to continue the legacy of 7DAYS in a small way.”

Mark Rix, CEO, 7DAYS UAE adds, “Over the last few years, we have built a large and highly engaged audience across our social media platforms due to the high quality and unique nature of our content. We believe that Lovin Dubai will continue to inform and entertain our readers in the same spirit.”

E-learning courses for journalists launches

Facebook has launched a single destination for journalists to learn about the products, tools and services that will help increase their brand’s social media presence on Facebook and Instagram. The free e-learning courses will be available through Blueprint, their global training program and will focus on the three core pillars of the news cycle – discovering content, creating stories and building an audience. With plans to accommodate more languages, including Arabic in 2017, the online training program will serve as a learning platform for editors and journalists around the world.

Five Minute Focus – Wall

Team TMN talks to Mansoor Bhatti and Faisal Shah, Co-Founders of Things By People, to find out about their creative agency as well as their revolutionary new interactive magazine, Wall (@tbpwall)…

Tell us a bit about Things By People and Wall magazine?
Things by People is a full-service creative fashion agency. We partnered up to start the agency in order to bring and curate locally based and international artists from the fashion industry to the UAE as a way to improve the overall quality of creative work here. We do this by keeping our artists’ desire to create at the core of the business.

Wall magazine is the first Instagram-designed moving image magazine in the world, which we developed in order to promote our artists’ work.

Tell us about the concept behind Wall
Wall was designed to showcase the work of Things By People, as well as the artists we represent. It was designed to break the ordinary thinking when it comes to browsing photography on Instagram.

What made you decide to launch the magazine?
Just like everything else we have done, we wanted to make a difference through our Instagram page. We were bored of the existing format, so we challenged ourselves to create something new. We thought, why don’t we make our Instagram more fun?

The concept all stemmed from observing how Instagram works. The social media platform itself is simply a wall of photos, so we took our observations and came up with the idea to turn our wall of photos into an interactive magazine, and so @tbpwall came to be.

What made you choose Instagram as the platform on which to launch Wall?
Instagram is used heavily within the fashion industry – much more than other platforms, such as Facebook. As most of Things By People’s creative work is visual – photos and videos – there is no other place that can express our vision in a better way.

What does Wall offer, content-wise, that is different from other online platforms?
A new experience, as Wall is quick to use and creates an immediate impression. It’s also highly interactive and a lot more fun to view than traditional content in print or online publications.

Who is your target audience?
Anyone interested in fashion or art. Or people who simply want to discover something new!

Will you be working with a dedicated editorial team, or are there opportunities for freelancers?
We are always up for collaborations with different artists or freelancers. However, we only represent artists on an exclusive basis.

How can PRs and brands get involved in the magazine?
Branded Wall issues are up for grabs. Wall is new but it has a growing following from the core fashion industry, and new campaigns, advertorials or even product launches (related to beauty or fashion) can be featured in the magazine. However, to maintain the high quality of Wall, we do insist on curating its content.

How do you see Things By People / Wall evolving in the future?
We keep a tight eye on technology and its benefits. In the immediate future, we will be looking into creating versions for Snapchat and other platforms…

Instagram celebrates five-year anniversary

Instagram celebrated it’s five year anniversary this week in Dubai, with a projection on the Burj Al Arab. Amy Cole, Brand Development Lead, EMEA and Instagram’s sixth employee, came to the Emirate to take part in the company’s 12th Worldwide InstaMeet. The celebrations follow Instagram’s recent announcement that it will make advertising available to more businesses, allowing marketers in the MENA region to share ads with Instagram’s community of 400 million members worldwide.

“People are communicating visually and using images to experience the world around them, and this is incredibly true in the UAE and Middle East,” says Amy. “With the high smartphone penetration in the region, these devices in our pockets have caused a shift in communication, from words to images. With 80 million photos posted to Instagram every day, if something is happening, it’s likely being captured on Instagram.”

Jonathan Labin, Head of Facebook, MENA, adds “People come to Instagram to experience the world through images, find inspiration and connect through shared passions. This backdrop sets Instagram up to be a powerful mobile advertising platform for businesses and marketers globally. Our launch partners have already inspired people with their creative storytelling, and we’re excited to see what else brands in the Middle East and North Africa will bring to the community.”


Instagram launches video advertising

Instagram has become the latest social network to introduce video advertising. Having launched static image advertising in 2013 and following six month of testing, Instagram now offers ad deals which showcase 15-second auto-play spots. With Disney, Activision, Lancome and Banana Republic being the first brands to test the new platform, Disney has been quick to make full use of the new ad offering, using the platform to promote its Big Hero 6 film, while Lancome advertises its newly released fragrance and mascara.

Following criticism of its early Instagram advertising, the social network has been notably cautious since it began selling space a year ago, aiming to ensure that it doesn’t appear too intrusive, and alienating a significant number of its 200 million active users.

Global instagrammers to film #MyDubai Trip series

12 globally recognised instagrammers are to visit Dubai over the next four weeks to experience the Emirate through the eyes of its residents, each following a tailor-made itinerary created by 12 influential Dubai-based Instagram users. Their experience will collectively form the #MyDubai Trip series, which is being produced in partnership between Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and Qabeela New Media.

The selection of 24 instagrammers – globally and Dubai-based – was conducted through two competitions earlier this year, during which 40 international Instagram users and 30 Dubai residents campaigned for votes. The visiting instagrammers will be joined by Mohamed and Peyman Parham Alwadhi, Co-Founders of Qabeela New Media and Co-Hosts of Peeta Planet, and will guide the visitors throughout their #MyDubai Trip.

Featured international Instagram participants include – Garth Pon and Craig Howes from South Africa, Danny Zappa and Paulo Del Valle from Brazil, Christina Santoso and Daris Cahyadi from Indonesia, Seo Ju Park, Virgina Navarro and Saul Aguilar from Mexico, Devrim Ates from Turkey, Ahmad El Abi from Egypt and Abdulaziz Al Duwaisan from Kuwait.

The individual itineraries have been curated by Anas Bukash, Managing Partner of Ahdaaf Sports Club, Herald Herrera, Network Engineer and Manager of @igersdubai community; Ienobu Kaneko, entrepreneur and social media influencer; Kanu Al Kendi, Emirati stand-up comedian; Karen McLean, Blogger at Secret Squirrel Food; Khalid Al Ramsi, IT student and designer; Max Stanton, Consumer Market Knowledge Manager at Procter and Gamble; Muneera Al Tamimi, Co-Founder of Turba Studios and Co-Founder of Tamashee; Nouraldin Al Yousef, television presenter and media personality; Omar Samra, Founder and CEO of Wild Guanabana; Samantha Wood, freelance journalist, communications consultant and food blogger at and Sharifa Badri, marketing graduate and social media influencer. 

By creating the #MyDubai Trip series, Qabeela New Media is the latest company to join the #MyDubai initiative, launched in January of this year by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai. The winning Instagram users will begin to arrive in Dubai from mid-September for a period of three or four days each, with the last arriving in mid-October. The #MyDubai Trip series is scheduled for online broadcast between November 2014 and January 2015.