28 Mar 2023
In fact, in recent years, tech devices such as smartphones and online activity such as streaming, shopping, sharing & donating have become key during the Ramadan season. Keep reading to learn more about how people have been using their smartphones as a key part of their celebrations and traditions during Ramadan.
In 2020, the Guinness World Record was broken for the most ever views of an Iftar live stream. At this time, many worried that the Covid pandemic breakout in early 2020 and the restrictions that followed would prevent many from celebrating Ramadan together. Although, six of Saudi Arabia's biggest YouTube creators amassed over 180,000 viewers on a livestream to celebrate Iftar which is the evening meal served at the end of the day to break the day's fast. The livestream was praised for helping maintain social distancing rules while also encouraging the communal spirit of Ramadan.
"To come together and turn this moment of isolation into celebration was truly amazing" Mohamed Moshaya, one of the Youtubers explained.
Ramadan is a social as well as a spiritual time of year. Everyone celebrating Ramadan annually comes together to celebrate the holy month and during this digital age this also happens online. Facebook usage tends to increase by around 5% during Ramadan while the average viewing time on YouTube increases by 11% and comments on YouTube increase by over 50%. Twitter have also reported an increase of 18% in tweets during Ramadan in the past.
According to Google, during the holy month, Ramadan related searches almost double. Search increases are usually focused on food recipes, perfumes, clothing, Ramadan shopping offers and religious content. Around 60% of these searches are done on mobile.
This increase in social media use also influences shopping habits. According to a survey carried out by Facebook, nearly 70% of people celebrating Ramadan who have social media profiles use Instagram to search for gift ideas during this time. Some of the trends found by Facebook included that 47% of people who carried out their survey stated that they began preparing and planning clothing purchases a month before Ramadan starts. Shopping activity in the period between 12am and 5am also increases by 20%. This aligns with the fact that most users who are celebrating Ramadan become most active during these hours at this time of year.
Ramadan is a time which promotes values such as compassion, charity, and empathy so a lot of fundraising and donating happens during this time with the aim of helping those in need. In recent years, more and more of these donations have taken place online. Muslims in the UK donated more than £150 Million to charity during Ramadan in 2020 while in 2021 Muslim Americans donated $1.8 billion to domestic and international causes and in 2022 over a million donations were made on just one online donation platform during Ramadan, which raised over 47 million US dollars.
It's hard to ignore the growing trend that the way Ramadan is celebrated around the world is changing as people are spending more time online.
As people shift from physical gifting to e-commerce and celebrations change from in person to video calls- the need to stay connected and topped up has never been greater.
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