Dubai: A study has found that seven out of 10 children aged four to 14 in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are already using social media.

The study titled ‘Kids Compass’, was conducted by Turner, a division of Time Warner, to learn about the attitude, behaviour and purchasing power of kids in the Middle East.

The study, which surveyed 3,000 children aged four to 14 in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Turkey (more than 2,000 were from the UAE and Saudi Arabia) also found that 62 per cent of children use a smartphone and 56 per cent of children use tablets.

YouTube use among children is relatively higher across the region; Saudi Arabia emerged on top with 64 per cent of children using YouTube for video entertainment, followed by Turkey with 61 per cent and UAE with 45 per cent.

The study indicated that TV remains the primary source of entertainment, however, the rise in mobile broadband penetration means that kids are increasingly becoming digital-savvy.

Interestingly, the survey found that seven out of 10 children use social media. More than 50 per cent of children in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Turkey use WhatsApp, a cross-platform mobile messaging application. Facebook connectivity is comparatively higher in Turkey (68 per cent), but lagged behind in the UAE (39 per cent) and in Saudi Arabia (32 per cent).

The study involved tailor-made questionnaires, in-depth interviews and real-life observations of children and parents as they went about their daily routine. Findings indicate a shift in perception of how children across the region see the world, what they truly value, and how it defines their future.

Commenting on the study, Tareq Mounir, general manager, Middle East, North Africa, Turkey, Greece and Cyprus at Turner, said: “The study is the first of its kind that equips organisations with significant insights into children’s behaviour and how that has evolved in the current world.”

The study was undertaken in collaboration with Clusters, a quantitative market research and segmentation agency, as well as IMG Worlds of Adventure and Toy Triangle.