Sequel to being shut out by Snap Inc., owner of Snapchat in Saudi Arabia, Al Jazeera Media Network has launched its new daily content on the key interactive medium Instagram, with the aim of providing dedicated, creative and captivating content to Arab youth.
The launch which took place today, Thursday September 28, comes days after Snapchat had blocked Al Jazeera’s ‘Discover’ service in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain due to pressure and censorship requests from these authorities in a move seen as a clear violation to media freedom and the individual right to access of information.
Commenting on the launch, Dr Mostefa Souag, Al Jazeera Media Network’s Acting Director General said: “It is surprising that governments and global technology companies believe they can block access to media content and news material in today’s open information sphere. Al Jazeera Media Network has achieved great success in attracting millions of followers worldwide due to its professional coverage. We will not be deterred and will continue to produce and provide professional media content to Arab youth through various social media platforms”.
Speaking also during the launch Al Jazeera’s Executive Director of Digital, Dr Yaser Bishr, said “Today we launch our Instagram channel to reach out to our audiences with new and captivating content produced by young journalists from diverse backgrounds. This comes as part of Al Jazeera’s digital transformation strategy to reach users on all available platforms and to prove to the world that press freedom and access to information are basic right which regimes cannot take away as they did in the past.”
According to Dr. Bishir, “The content Al Jazeera is providing to its followers on Instagram is both carefully chosen and specifically produced content that takes into account the nature of interaction and the speed of access to both credible information & current news”.
As the case with Snapchat and other digital platforms, Al Jazeera’s Instagram channel will provide stories that cover important regional and international current affairs events that are of interest to Arab youth and general users of the platform.
It is also worth noting thatAl Jazeera’s followers on Instagram stand at 1.6 million followers, preceding all news channels in the MENA region; while Instagram users stand at 700 million active users worldwide, inclusive of 400 million users of the platform’s stories feature.
As part of its digital strategy, Al Jazeera continues to launch new digital channels and services, in line with the rapid technological development witnessed by the media industry.