Mobile technology

The role of mobile phones during Ramadan: 5 facts you didn't know!

Jack McLoughlin

12 Apr 2021

Ramadan in 2020 was a celebration quite like no other. Almost everyone who was observing the holiday had to celebrate online, as a result of mass border closures and snap lockdowns disrupting the usual festivities.

In looking back at what's been nicknamed 'the most digital Ramadan of all time', these 5 facts from Ramadan 2020 highlight the role that mobile devices now play in the celebration.

1. Last year the Guinness World Record was broken for the most ever views of an Iftar live stream

Six of Saudi Arabia's biggest YouTube creators amassed over 180 000 concurrent viewers on a live stream to celebrate Iftar, the evening meal served at the end of the day to break the day's fast.

"To come together and turn this moment of isolation into celebration was truly amazing" Mohamed Moshaya, one of the Youtubers explained.

2. Facebook users in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) spend 58 million more hours on the platform during the month of Ramadan, compared to any other month of the year

The Holy Month is a time when people are more focused on their sense of community. Still, that's a LOT of extra likes!

3. It's estimated 9/10 people in MENA engage with an online charity during Ramadan

Ramadan is a time where people are more spiritually minded, with a focus on a sense of community. According to Facebook, 91% of its respondents said they support a charity in some way during this time.

4. Online shopping in MENA was bigger during Ramadan 2020 than any other period of the year (including Black Friday!)

Ding saw a +158% YoY increase in customers sending top-up to African and Asian countries during the month of Ramadan in 2020.

Countries like the Philippines, Nepal, Afghanistan and Egypt saw a surge as the onset of covid coincided with Ramadan last year.

5. Last Ramadan, MENA users spent over 50% of their free time consuming online entertainment

According to Google, online 'free time' came in the form of web browsing, watching videos/streaming sites, social media and playing video games.

Considering most spent Ramadan 2020 in some form of social isolation, people saw online entertainment as a way to both connect with others but also to escape the uncertainty of covid.

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.

We wish 'Ramadan Mubarak' to all our customers celebrating the Holy month. For those unable to celebrate with their loved ones in person, send a little smile with Ding, and show you care, even when you can't be there.

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The role of mobile phones during Ramadan: 5 facts you didn't know!