Twitter is opening its first office in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as part of its effort to increase its advertising sales and partnerships in the region.

Shailesh Rao, vice president of Asia Pacific, Latin America and Emerging Markets at Twitter made the announcement during the Arab Social Media Influencers Summit.

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A key strategic market for Twitter

According to Rao, Twitter’s office in the MENA region will be located in Dubai, which is a regional hub of many advertising agencies and brands. He added that MENA is a key strategic market for the microblogging company.

“We are excited to build a team on the ground here who can work with partners directly, helping them get the most out of Twitter,” said Rao.

Rao also indicated the possibility for Twitter to establish partnerships with television stations and program producers in the region to increase its presence. He said, “TV was a significant catalyst — we saw a 200 percent increase in TV conversations between 2013 and 2014.”

Twitter launched its promoted products in the MENA region in 2013. The microblogging company signed a partnership agreement with Connect Ads to become its sales representatives in the region. Connect Ads is managing Twitter’s promoted products in Egypt, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait.

Back then, Rao said, “Working with Connect Ads gives Twitter a strong partner with a footprint throughout the region and proven digital capabilities enabling us to scale and educate the markets as we introduce Twitter’s promoted products.”

Twitter has approximately six million users in the region, which means the company has a lot of room to grow and generate more advertising revenues.

Twitter is a valuable tool for TV networks

The latest study from Nielsen, “Social TV: A Bellwether for Audience Engagement” showed that Twitter can be a valuable tool for TV networks, agencies and advertisers that aims to better understand the total viewing audience.

Nielsen users its proprietary consumer neuroscience technology in analyzing the brain activity of almost 300 viewers while watching live programs from eight primetime and cable broadcasts. The research firm compared the results to the minute-by-minute Twitter activity for the same shows and found a strong correlation (79.5%) with neurological engagement—a combination of emotion, memory and attention.

The study found that Twitter can influence TV behavior, build audiences and drive action. “This new research emphasizes Twitter’s utility as an insightful tool for data-driven decision making, not only on Twitter, but also around general viewing audiences,” according to Anjali Midha, global media & agency research director at Twitter.