Posted on May 11, 2014

Qatar News Agency launched the world’s first social news network, Maydan Qatar, as part of its commitment to supporting the state’s creation of a knowledge economy. The Maydan Qatar network was launched in Beta (testing) format by HE Dr. Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari, Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, at a prestigious event at the Sharq Village Hotel and attended by over 150 dignitaries from the media, technology and government sectors.

Maydan Qatar is built on KnowledgeView Publish live technology, and aims to build a vibrant community of users around well-tagged local content that promotes economic and social growth in Qatar as part of the National Vision for 2030. The network will build a community by:

  • Creating a platform that allows users to socialize around news and prime content;
  • Providing the largest aggregator of local news;
  • Creating prime content by a team of information professionals.

Qatar News Agency launches 2 [].jpgIt plans to achieve these aims through innovative technology that will bring curated content to its users domestically and internationally, both in Arabic and English, providing links to Qatari economic, social, cultural, sports and geopolitical developments.

Commenting on the network, HE Dr. Hamad Al-Kuwari, Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, said: “Qatar is building a knowledge economy that invests heavily in human capital, and media has an important role to play in providing up to date and easily accessible information and news. Having created the first Arabic language news satellite station with Al Jazeera, Qatar has now achieved another first with the launching of Maydan Qatar as the world’s first social news network.”

Mr Ahmed Al-Buainain, Director General of Qatar News Agency, added that Maydan Qatar will be available for free to all internet users, and will transform the way residents receive news.

“The QNA is delighted to launch this project as it will offer the country a host of benefits in support of the QNV 2030 and creation of a knowledge economy. By having a one stop shop for all news and events information, everyone living in Qatar or with an interest in our country will have customized, easy and free access to prime content. This creates a very exciting opportunity for an exchange of ideas on a national level”, he commented.

Results from a research project carried by QNA out in January 2014 show that 89% of those polled consider it important or useful to have one primary content hub for news and events in Qatar.

Qatar News Agency launches 3 [].jpgMaydan Qatar will be available on multi-platforms, via the web and mobile devices.It will be the largest local news aggregator in Qatar and will provide a boost to existing news organisations by increasing visitors to their website by maximizing user interaction.

Maydan Qatar is built using KnowledgeView Publish live technology. The interface of the network is a result of more than ten years of research and development undertaken by KnowledgeView, in line with the European Union’s Information Society 2000 initiative and with media companies globally.

Ali Al-Assem, CEO and Founder of KnowledgeView, remarked that a key differentiator for Maydan Qatar is its scope for customisation.

“Maydan Qatar provides users with a customised aggregation of local Qatari news and continual enhancement of prime content and events updates paired to a geolocator. It also creates customisable pages and knowledge communities enabling users to communicate with others reading the same news and events content. This feature can’t be found on other social media platforms”, he explained.

End users will be able to sign up using other social media accounts to create profiles making getting started a seamless process.The beta version of the network will add new features over the coming weeks prior to product finalization.