Dubai: Palestinian expat from Dubai, Alaa Mohra makes Dh2 million a month from his Instagram account with 732, 000 followers.
And it is all thanks to the leverage he has been able to make with the organic followers he has built over the years.
At the second edition of the 1 Billion Followers Summit that opened on Wednesday, January 10 to a glittering start, Mohra said his 1.5 million followers on TikTok makes the equation all the more enviable.
“Social media is a game changer. I have more than two million views on my page every day. It is transforming lives and surely has transformed mine.”
Mohar creates content to help people on how to come out of difficult financial situation and reach their financial goals. He said that his target audience is young adults who can be lost sometimes and do not know how to build a strong financial background.
Mohra and other 3,000 content creators, influencers from all over the world descended upon Dubai for the Summit being held on January 10 and 11 at the Emirates Towers and the Museum of the Future.
It is no surprise when Alia Al Hammadi, Chief Executive officer (CEO) of the New Media Academy which has organised the Summit said on Wednesday that globally there are more than 50 million content creators job. “If we compare it to a vital sector in our day to day life, which is the energy industry, there are 67 million people working in this industry. Today, the market value of the content creator industry is around $250 billion. This number is expected to further double and touch half a trillion by 2027.”
National creative economy
Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and Member of the Dubai Council who attended the Summit, said: “The Summit for content creation, the largest of it is kind in the world consolidates the national creative economy, develops the digital content ecosystem and expands the scope of opportunities provided by this promising sector to to content creators and innovators.
She added: “The event reflects the UAE leadership’s vision and directives in terms of supporting digital content creators, talented individuals, innovative initiatives, and investors in the creative industries, by providing the optimal environment to embrace, nurture and develop their projects, and empower them to develop and grow their potential, cementing the UAE’s position as a global capital for digital content creation.”
Cradle of dreamers
Saeed Al Eter, Chairman UAE Government Media Office also said: “The UAE is a cradle of all dreamers, thanks to the vision of our leaders. The global population spends six hours a day on social media. Shaping their opinions, consuming news, learning and connecting is vital. Content creators, therefore, are not just entertaining, they are responsible for creating a positive impact on families and global societies. This 250 million dollar industry will continue to grow even more,” he said.
Al Hammadi seconded that and said: “The world currently has a population of over eight billion people. That is eight billion of unique stories. And in 2023 there were over five billion people active on social media. That is more than 61 per cent of the total world population. There are over 2.7 billion active users on YouTube. There are more than two billion users on Instagram, 1.6 billion on TikTok, half a billion on X and the list goes on.”
Emirati Entrepreuneur Anas Bukhash who has more than 2.3 million followers on Instagram and a big presence on several other social media platforms, said: “Good content is created with authenticity. When one presents their content with authenticity, it can be felt on the screen and that attracts viewers. People appreciate a rich human interest story.”
Bukhash added: “Digital media is the new world. The moment you see certain brands supporting certain digital media shows and content, the more brands will look at digital media. It is all about the content creator pitching his content and showing what he can offer to a brand that can get him to earn from it.” He noted that YouTube remains one of the most revenue generating platforms for a content creator.
Social media sensation
Take the case of this expat couple Miled Rahal and his wife Melissa Mouzannar who have become quite a social media sensation with their Instagram handles @the.Rahal and TikTok handle miledandmelissa. Miled told Gulf News said he gave up a full time job to manage his social media content for it was generating more revenue than his previous job was.
“We started our social media content back in 2017 but only in 2020 when everyone was at home, our content started to get interest. By 2021, we had our first 50,000 followers and since then we have been generating sponsorships, brand collaborations on our platforms. It has been truly successful,” said Rahal.
Yusuf Omar, a video creator and co-founder of @seen.tv. said that ’augmented reality’ is the next big thing to look out for in the future. “Mobile phones, selfie lenses and filters will all use augmented reality by 2025.”
He added that 75 per cent of the global population will use augmented reality on a regular basis to inform their consumer purchases, lifestyle, make-up and more.
“Digital content is not about producing what people can consume now but about what people can consume in the future. Investors should look at investing in how people consume the content tomorrow.”
On the first day of the Summit, celebrated podcaster and multimillionaire Steven Bartlett, the founder of Thirdweb, a Web3 start-up that raised $5m in seed investment, said content creation should be all about experimentation and the failure that it comes with.
“You have to outfail your competition. I also believe that people underestimate the power of great stories and emotion and they overestimate information. I learnt the power of experimentation in the years of my work.”
The Summit is hosting international social media giants, with industry leaders like Meta, Warner Bros., TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook, and Mindvalley taking centre stage.
The stellar line-up of speakers included renowned figures such as Trevor Noah, the world’s most famous comedy presenter, MatPat, known as The Nerdiest Guy on YouTube, Like Nastya, the kid behind world’s 3rd biggest YouTube channel, Jordan Matter, Devon Rodriguez, Mai and Mama Wafa, Ahmed El Ghandour, known as “El-Daheeh”, Karen Wazen, and young influencers Abdullah Anan, Ahmed Sharif, Omar Al-Helou, Nasser Al Aqil and others.
Over 77 speakers and 200 CEOs, 300 media content companies and 100 digital content agencies have converged at the event.