Egypt Yellow Pages Launches Mobile Apps For iPhone, Android and Windows 8.1

Egypt Yellow Pages Mobile App

Yellow Pages has launched 3 new apps aiming at making its service easier to use and accessible to a wide range of users in Egypt.

First up, there is a new Yellow Pages iPhone app available on App Store. The app is more than just a re-skin that is iOS 7 compatible, the app user experience is designed to help the users find what they are looking for on the go through a smart single search box where you don’t need to type the location and the app is smart enough to detect your location and show the results near you.

The app is practically a directory and a map with over 330,000 business listings and venues in Egypt that users can carry in their pockets. Taping on one of the home category icons will effectively help the users discover and explore local stores and venues near them. This is good news for businesses that want to acquire more customers from their neighbourhood, or passing by customers that happens to be in this location at that specific time and need to buy a product or a quick access to a service.

Yellow Pages New iPhone App

4 new updates have been released to the app in the past 2 months, each single update of them received a stunningly 5 stars rating from the users. The old English and Arabic apps are now merged into a single universal app in which users can switch between the 2 languages; much better for the user experience.

Yellow Pages iPhone App Review

Android users now finally can download the long-awaited Yellow Pages Android app on Google Play store. The app is accessible to over 3,835 Android devices worldwide. The app is optimised for high end Android devices such as Samsung S4 and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 but it also works well with low end Android handsets such as the Galaxy Ace and Duos, also works great with 7 and 10 inch tablets.

Integration is done nicely with Google maps, which makes it very easy for the users to use turn-by-turn voice navigation available in Egypt through Google Maps. The Android app has received very positive feedback from the users, over 680 users rated the app and over 82% of them rated 4 or 5 starts for it. Exceptional for an Android app to satisfy equally for both high and low end device owners.

Yellow Pages Android AppWindows 8 is often criticised for its shallow  apps catalog, Egypt is no exception, but this is changing overtime with more apps being launched and push by Microsoft and its partner Linkdotnet in Egypt. Egypt Yellow Pages Windows 8.1 app is available for download on the Windows Store as one of the leading apps in the the Egyptian market, only a few apps came before like EgyptAir Windows App and Egyptian eGovernment maps app which is also powered by Yellow Pages data.

Yellow Pages Windows 8.1 AppThe new apps have received hundreds of thousands of downloads and continue to grow rapidly. Yellow Media has announced its intent to launch a new context-based relevant in stream mobile ads as an innovative way of mobile advertising that has a positive value on the user experience based on their interests rather than traditional mobile banner advertising.


Egypt: National ICT Strategy that aims to boost investment in the ICT sector to 55 billion EGP

Egypt: National ICT Strategy that aims to boost investment in the ICT sector to 55 billion EGP

Check out my latest article at Wamda: Egypt aims to boost investment in the ICT sector to 55 billion EGP.

To do so, the Ministry of ICT mostly plans to invest in infrastructure, granting 75% of Egyptian households access to internet at a speed of 2Mbps by 2015, and, by 2021, increasing access to 90% of households at 25 Mbps. It also hopes to offer 3G service to 98% of users by 2015, and 4G service for 90% of the population by 2021.

مصر تسعى لزيادة الأستثمار فى قطاع الاتصالات والتكنولوجيا إلى 55 مليار جنيه

مصر تسعى لزيادة الأستثمار فى قطاع الاتصالات والتكنولوجيا إلى 55 مليار جنيه

Check out  my latest Wamda piece. Fantastic progress for ICT sector in Egypt, and amazing strategy from MCIT ministry. Investments in Egypt to reach 55 billion pounds soon in Information Technology and communication sector

Half The Internet Users In Egypt Are Using USB Modems

The latest ICT indicator (August 2012) has revealed that 31.2 million internet users in Egypt are accessing the internet through 2 millions ADSL lines and 3 million USB modems, Nearly half of the Egypt internet users (46%) are able to access the internet through connected mobile devices and USB modems.

Egypt Internet Users By Mode Of AccessOne would think that 38% internet penetration rate must be a great step to achieve full internet coverage in Egypt, but surprisingly enough, it’s not. 46% of the internet users are connected through USB modems, and another 10% are still connected through dial up. In reality, if someone did the math one would realize that at least 17 million out of 31 million internet users in Egypt have limited internet access. The problem is, this majority of internet users are limited to a maximum daily / monthly bandwidth. This means that the users are not able to watch many youtube videos, they are not able to download movies or music, they are surfing the internet with fear  of finishing their pre-paid credit or their limited quota.

But here is another thought you can’t locate the physical address of these internet users to help building websites that are location aware. It also means that you can’t target these users by city or area to deliver more relevant ads.

We should find ways of making the internet accessible, really accessible, without crazy costs, and without fears from using your quota, and definitely without the unfair “fair” usage policy. It all starts with designing and building the right infrastructure which we are a way behind in taking the right steps to build.


جوجل تتنبأ بنتائج الأنتخابات الرئاسية المصرية: أبو الفتوح فى المقدمة و ينزل الأعادة مع شفيق


د. عبد المنعم أبو الفتوح فى مقدمة الجولة الأولى للأنتخبات الرئاسية المصرية يليه الفريق أحمد شفيق لينزلا معاً فى الأعادة حيث لم يحصل أى منهما على أكثر من 50% من أصوات الناخبين فى مصر. وبفارق كبير عن شفيق يأتى د. محمد مرسى يليه كل من عمرو موسى و حمدين صباحى.

المركز الأول:

د. عبد المنعم أبو الفتوح

المركز الثانى:

الفريق أحمد شفيق

المركز الثالث

د. محمد مرسى

المركز الرابع:

عمرو موسى

المركز الخامس:

حامدين صباحى

كل ذلك ليس من التكهنات ولا مبنى على نتائج أستطلاعات الرأى ولكن هذا ما توضحه أدوات جوجل للبحث Google Trends و Google Insights for Search الذى يعكس أهتمام الناس بالبحث و متابعة أخبار المرشحين الرئاسيين.

Google Insights ُfor Search: Egyptian Presidential Elections

منذ منتصف أبريل 2012 و حتى اليوم (منتصف مايو) نستطيع أن نرى حفاظ أبو الفتوح على التقدم معظم الأوقات ألا أن شفيق يداعبه فى بعض الأوقات و خاصة بعد قرار القضاء بالسماح له بالمشاركة فى الأنتخابات. كانت المفاجأة هى تقدم شفيق على مرسى فى معظم الأوقات بالرغم من المسيرات و الأغاتى الخاصة بمرسى ولكن يبدوا أن حزب الكنبة لا يستهان بقوته.

يبدو لوهلة بأن الجميع كان قد نسى تماماً وجود عمرو موسى و حمدين صباحى حتى بداية شهر مايو والذى شهد ثباتاً لأبو الفتوح مع أرتفاع سريع لصباحى و أرتفاع طفيف لموسى.

ثم كانت المناظرة التلفزيونية بين أبو الفتوح و موسى و التى قلبت الموازين حيث زاد الأهتمام بكلاهما للقفز فى المقدمة و لكنه كان أيضاً سبباً فى زيادة أسهم صباحى بشكل ملحوظ معهما لمن لم يقتنع بأى من المرشحين بعد المناظرة.

Google Trends: Egypt Presidential Elections

لم تختلف النوقعات كثيراً فى Google Trends… حيث أصبح بعد المناظرة أبو الفتوح و موسى فى القمة يلاحقهما شفيق وثم الحصان الأسود صباحى يحاول صنع مفاجأة و بقى مرسى فى القاع.

Google Trends: Presidential Elections Demographics

المثير للأهتمام هى تأييد المرشحين حسب التوزيع الجغرافى، حيث يفضل المصريين فى السعودية  المرشح الأسلامى بين أبو الفتوح و مرسى قبل شفيق و موسى بينما لا يوجد أهتمام بصباحى.

أما فى الكويت فيفضل المرشحين كل من أبو الفتوح و شفيق.

أما فى مصر فالترتيب متسق مع النتائج المتوقعة ألا أنه فى بعض مدن الوجه البحرى و الدلتا فيزيد الأهتمام بصباحى على حساب موسى و لكن يبقى أبو الفتوح فى المقدمة ويليه شفيق.

ماذا تعتقد؟ هل تعتقد أن تلك الأحصائيات و التحاليل هى مؤشر يمثل الواقع أم أن هناك مفاجأت لا يعلمها أحد؟


Egypt Yellow Pages Zeitgeist 2011

Year 2011 is about to end, many Egyptians are happy about the fact that this year is actually coming to an end and full of hope that the coming year will be better for everyone. Let’s take a look together about 2011 and see what Egyptians were looking for on online Egypt Yellow Pages during this year:

Arabic Search on the rise

Arabic continues to grow to reach 59% of the total searches done in 2011, not as fast as you might expect it to happen, that’s only a 4% increase over 2010. See 2010 Zeitgeist>>

Arabic is dominating the search phrases on Egypt Yellow Pages with 59%

Arabic is dominating the search phrases with 59%

One interesting fact is that many people were looking for Tahrir Square after the #Jan25 revolution! Although sounds to me like a Google search rather than a Yellow Pages search, you never know!

Searches for Tahrir Square on Egypt Yellow Pages after #Jan25 revolution

Top Categories For 2011

The following are the most searched keywords for 2011

1. Restaurant
2. Pharmacy
3. Hotel
4. Advertising
5. Bank
6. Nursery
7. Furniture
8. School
9. Hospital
10. Real Estate

You can see that advertising is going up the list while real estate is at the bottom of the top 10 list. This shows how advertising is so important to businesses in Egypt at these tough days. Real estate industry is not living its best days though.

Top Search Keywords on EYP for 2011

Most popular sectors and industries in Egypt in 2011


1. National Bank Of Egypt
4. CIB

Top Egyptian banks for 2011

Restaurants and Cafes:

1. Spectra
2. burger king
3. KFC
4. cilantro
5. Cook door
6. hardees
7. pizza hut
8. la poire
9. Mo’men
10. Roastery
11. gad

Top restaurants in Egypt for 2011


1. Vodafone
2. Mobinil
3. Etisalat

Most searched mobile network operators in Egypt for 2011

Brands and stores:

1. Samsung
2. Xerox
3. Sony
4. Appliance
5. Raya
6. Toshiba
7. Egypt Air
8. Mobile Shop
9. Panasonic
10. Jotun
11. Habitat
12. Nokia

Top searched brands in Egypt for 2011


Goodbye 2011, enough is enough… Hopefully 2012 will be a glorious year and won’t see the end of the world according to Mayan calendar time prophecy

Interview with TripAdvisor Commercial Director Business Listings EMEA, Karen Plumb

Karen Plumb, Commercial Director Business Listings EMEA, TripAdvisor

Karen Plumb, Commercial Director Business Listings EMEA, TripAdvisor

Travel review web sites and hotel reviews on online travel agencies are among the most influential forces most frequently cited by travelers when shopping. User generated content is so important and it is here to stay, it helps people to make their decisions,  TripAdvisor definitely takes the lead with more than 50 million unique monthly visitors, 20 million members, and over 50 million reviews and opinions. The sites operate in 30 countries worldwide containing 1 million+ hotel, restaurants and attractions in 90,000 destinations.

In this interview Karen Plumb shares with us in the power of TripAdvisor and the value it can bring  to businesses. Also Karen gives us insights about the new partnerships TripAdvisor is having with local search sites and directories to empower businesses.

Mohamed: Tell us a little bit about yourself?

Karen: I have a background in hotel marketing, having worked at both InterContinental and Thistle Hotels, where I held a variety of international eMarketing and International Marketing roles. I have also worked before in an online company at CheapFlights running the consumer email product and the hotel website, I love working in the online travel environment and TripAdvisor is a great place to be.

Mohamed: How do you encourage users to post reviews? Do you run any sort of incentive programs that strengthen customer loyalty?

Karen: TripAdvisor has added badging to the site to recognize and acknowledge the contributions of our active community of reviewers. These badges serve as just one more way users can determine which reviews are most relevant to their trip-planning experience.

The first badge is given after three reviews and users that have contributed over 50 reviews receive a gold badge and a Top Contributor designation.

In our management centre, we provide owners with tools and widgets to encourage guests to write reviews following their stay.

Mohamed: Independent travelers value TripAdvisor as a research tool to find the best hotels that fit their needs and meet their budgets. Are you thinking about building a tool that would allow users to compare hotels to help them in the decision making?

 Karen: TripAdvisor is constantly searching for new ways to improve its websites to continue to help travellers plan and have the perfect trip. Users can search for hotels by relevant categories and read reviews by like-minded travellers to find the right hotel to suit their needs. Each review is also broken down into detail with travellers rating hospitality businesses on a number of factors, allowing users to make an informed decision during their holiday planning.

Mohamed: What’s your value proposition for the hotel owners? What types of hotels would benefit most by having a commercial business listing on TripAdvisor?

Karen: Whilst being listed on TripAdvisor is free for properties we offer the  Business Listings product to enables accommodation providers to add direct contact details on all TripAdvisor website domains as well as TripAdvisor’s mobile website to convert our highly qualified traffic into direct bookings.  . Accommodation providers can add their phone number, email address and website homepage to their listing as well as posting a special offer to gain additional attention

The benefit of a TripAdvisor Business Listing is that it is on a page where viewers come to look at guest ratings, reviews and photos of a specific property. According to a Forrester survey in 2007, 87% of consumers looking for hotels are influenced by reviews and want to read them before they book. If a hotel has put in the hard work to earn good reviews from their guests, a Business Listing will allow the hotel to capitalise on them.

Mohamed: Recently you have expanded in many new countries in the Middle East and have announced partnership with Yellow Medya in Turkey. How is this going to help both the hotel owners and the end users in Turkey?

Karen: Yellow Medya will be integrating TripAdvisor onto all of its platforms, including online and mobile. By doing so, users of Yellow Medya platforms will have access to TripAdvisor reviews and opinions for accommodations, restaurants, attractions and all hospitality businesses currently listed on TripAdvisor websites.   In addition in the coming months Yellow Medya are helping TripAdvisor populate our database to ensure that every tourism business in Turkey is represented and can benefit from the global coverage TripAdvisor can offer.

Yellow Medya will also be offering a TripAdvisor Business Listings Programme, encouraging accommodation businesses in Turkey to adopt the Business Listings product.

We believe adoption of Business Listings within the Turkish hospitality industry will help businesses gain more visibility in front of our large community of travellers.

Mohamed: What is the most requested feature by the users that is not ready yet on TripAdvisor? What are the new things that you are introducing to TripAdvisor in 2012?

Karen: Earlier this year, TripAdvisor launched a new integration with Facebook that instantly personalizes the site for each person who visits, surfacing trusted reviews from friends, most popular destinations among friends, and an interactive social map.

Now when travelers come to TripAdvisor websites, while logged into Facebook, they will see the activities their friends have shared first, helping them to make more informed decisions when planning their own trip.

In addition our award winning mobile site and apps are becoming increasingly popular enabling travelers to research their trip whilst on the move.


Want to learn more about this subject? Visit TripAdvisor for Business Blog where there are lots of information on how accommodation providers can get the most out of TripAdvisor.

About TripAdvisor:

TripAdvisor® is the world’s largest travel site, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features (including Flights search, TripAdvisor Mobile and TripAdvisor Trip Friends) with seamless links to booking tools.

Interview with Matthieu Houle, Director, Mobile & Platform, YPG

Mattieu Houle:  Director, Mobile & Platform,  Yellow Pages Group in Canada (YPG)

Matthieu Houle: Director, Mobile & Platform, Yellow Pages Group in Canada (YPG)

Matthieu Houle, Director, Mobile & Platform at YPG gives us insights about the mobile local search industry in Canada, and expectations about where this industry is going and how the mobile usage of  YPG products will surpass web usage by 2014.

Mohamed Salah: Tell us a brief introduction about yourself

Matthieu Houle: I am Matthieu Houle, Director, Mobile & Platform at Yellow Pages GroupTM in Canada (YPG), responsible for its mobile properties, with more than 3 million downloads to date and representing 30% of our search traffic ( I am also responsible for YPG’s Developer Platform, which now has more than 1,000 developers signed-up.

With 15 years of experience in local search, media and advertising, I joined YPG in 2000 where I held various positions in Marketing, Business Development and Operations.

I began my career inCosta Rica where I lived for six years and co-founded a design agency and two quarterly publications: a local surf magazine and a golf magazine.

Mohamed: 30% of all online searches come from your mobile apps. How did you achieve these numbers and when do you think the mobile searches will surpass the web searches?

Matthieu: Part of our success was the early adoption of the mobile platform. Our executives saw the strategic fit and as of 2009, we’ve invested significantly in mobile development in terms of resources and created a director role dedicated to mobile – which I currently hold. We launched this initiative in 2010 with a mass media campaign, that really kick-started our presence on mobile.

Moreover, there is a natural fit between our service and the context of mobile users. I often say that Yellow Pages Group is “built for mobile”. For instance, Smartphones are the ultimate tool to discovering local merchants.

And finally, we have excelled at execution. Making the apps fast and simple to use was ultimately the key to our success and what drives our thinking moving forward. We have the right internal and external partners to achieve our strategy.

I refer to Mary Meeker’s forecast indicating that mobile usage will be equal to online usage by 2014. In my opinion, that forecast for local search is on the conservative side.

“Mobile usage will be equal to online usage by 2014. That forecast for local search is on the conservative side.”

Mohamed: How is the traffic usage divided between your mobile apps (iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, Android, WP7, Mobile Web, SMS Search)? Did you think about developing a Nokia app?

Matthieu: Applications represent roughly 75% of our mobile searches while the remainder is mobile web. Out of the app traffic, 70% comes from the iOS platforms and in large majority from iPhones.

“Out of the app traffic, 70% comes from the iOS platforms and in large majority from iPhones”

InCanada, Nokia doesn’t have a strong penetration as it has in other parts of the world so we have not yet create an app for this platform. Moreover, SMS search numbers are negligible.

Mohamed: How do you interact with your mobile users? How did their feedback shape your applications the way they are today?

Matthieu: User feedback is a critical input when we plan our releases. We acquire feedback from many different channels, including social media, customer service calls and emails, and even from employees. In my opinion, the most valuable feedback is derived from reading the reviews section on the app stores which is an excellent source of feedback. You know that if someone takes the time to write a review, it’s very likely that at least 100 people are thinking the same thing.

Furthermore, we also follow a more formal user testing protocol when we launch major updates but I find that the value added through this process is a validation of ideas and our execution…

Mohamed: What is YellowAPI all about?

Matthieu: The essence of YellowAPI is to create more value for our advertisers by allowing virtually anyone to create amazing local experiences.  Developers are building new applications and experiences right now, in areas that we would not have imagined or we would not have taken the time to develop.

YellowAPI is all about contributing to the eco-system in a way that contributes to our business model. Overall, it is about enabling developers to tap into our curated data without having to pay for it. We believe it’s a win-win for everyone.

Mohamed: It is well known that the most valuable asset for Yellow Pages is its data. Have you faced any challenges about the idea of exposing the Yellow Pages data to third parties through the API?

Matthieu: Exposing our data is very different than giving it away. The key reasoning behind this is that each time a business profile is exposed through a partner’s app, we can report that value back to our advertisers.

Mohamed: How many partners are using YellowAPI today? What’s your monetization model for the API?

Matthieu: We have more than 1,000 developers that have signed-up on the API in less than a year, representing about 30 apps and websites.

The monetization model for the API is quite simple: by adding more value to our advertisers, we support our product value proposition. Although we don’t sell pay-per-performance, once you have a good understanding of the ROI-to-Revenue relationship, you can pay partners based on performance in a way that makes sense for both parties.

Mohamed: What are you working on right now? What’s in the pipeline?

Matthieu: We’re always improving our flagship apps. That’s a big part of the pipeline. Expect more social features and more content in the next few releases of 2011.We’re also working on a new app that will hit the iTunes app store in Q4… Which I think will have a tremendous success. Stay Tuned!

On the YellowAPI side, it’s all about adding more data and more tools to help developers come up with the best apps possible!

Mohamed: What is the most valuable thing you have learned so far being in the local search, media and advertising industry for the past 15 years?

Matthieu: I believe that if you focus on making things simpler and more useful, for consumers and advertisers, great things will happen. In the end, our role is to add value to both sides. Try to avoid PowerPoint Ivory Tower syndrome and recognize it when it happens and go back to the basics.

Mohamed: A few years ago, everyone said that going mobile is the next big thing. Today, what do you think is the next big thing?

Matthieu: I would say that the next big thing is still mobile. But not exclusively with “branded” applications. I see an explosion of hyper local, vertical, social mashups that will give consumers the best tools to make the best shopping decisions. Imagine a developer with the next big “local” idea, building the app with the content from Yellow Pages companies across the world…That’s where I want to be!

 I see an explosion of hyper local, vertical, social mashups that will give consumers the best tools to make the best shopping decisions”

Twitter: @matthieuhoule


Learn more about Yellow Pages GroupTM in Canada (YPG)


Learn more about YellowAPI


6.5 Million Egyptians on Facebook

I keep hearing lots of numbers of Facebook users statistics in Egypt, the total number as of today (17 March, 2011) is

6,393,080 people

How did i know these stats? There is a very simple trick to know this number yourself… Go to the advertising link at the bottom of the FB page, click on create ad button, then you will get a page at which you can specify your targeting options…

Make sure to select the date Any-to-Any and the country Egypt, which should be selected by default if you live there. Wait for a few seconds and then you will see on the right side of the page the up to date total number of Facebook users in Egypt. The total number of users is now:

Facebook users in Egypt in March 2011

Android on fire, Windows Phone 7 under fire!

Stephen Elop Nokia’s CEO is probably one of the most unlucky guys today, he probably choose the worst time ever to kill the symbianOS and replace it with Microsoft Windows Phone 7, a choice that many people criticized and said it would rather be much better for Nokia to partner with Google and use Android.

comScore has announced that Android, the 2 years old platform, is now the most popular operating system on smart phones in the US, having just surpassed BlackBerry, iPhone and Windows Phone 7 (WP7),  having now a market share of 31.2%.

The irony here for Nokia  is not just the lost opportunity to catch up the leading mobile operating system but also the loss  of market shares of the new partner Microsoft which has down to only 8%. This must be very frustrating for Microsoft, they launched their new WP7 last October aiming at competing Android and iPhone, what you typically expect is that their market share would grow due to this new product or at least stabilize but not fall down.

Smart Phone Market Share, Jan 2011

Smart Phone Market Share, Jan 2011


A good question to ask here, was Stephen Elop’s choice of Microsoft as a partner influenced by being an ex Microsoft executive or by believing so much in Microsoft products? Somebody has to answer this.

Smart Phone market share numbers in January 2011
Smart Phone market share numbers in January 2011


Nokia must now share Microsoft’s frustration, apple must be happy that they didn’t loose any ground against Google’s Android but rather Android took from the market shares of the other market players especially BlackBerry…

I wonder if the same market dominance will be possessed by Android on other markets worldwide.