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YallaFeed’s first live MENA Twitter show #HawanahZein debuts today

From left: Kinda Ibrahim, Director Media Partnerships, MENA, Twitter with Bahaa Moussalli, Co-founder and CMO of STEP Group.

Entertainment platform for Arab millennials, YallaFeed and Twitter have launched their first live show in the MENA region, #HawanahZein, on the social media platform. The biweekly evening show, which is approximately 20 minutes long, will focus on what’s happening in the Arab world on Twitter during the month of Ramadan. The first episode will be streamed on May 17.

On a visit to the BroadcastPro ME office in Dubai Studio City, Bahaa Moussalli, Co-founder and CMO of STEP Group that produces the show, elaborated on the format although the name of the guest on the first show was kept under wraps.

He said: “We’re taking a decades-old TV format and re-interpreting it into today’s social news entertainment. The show will air post-primetime TV and pre-Suhoor during Ramadan, when people are relaxing and browsing on their phones to see what’s happening. The show will have two segments. The first segment will have a theme and our hosts who are identical twins, will offer funny, insightful takes into the social news of the day and what is trending on Twitter. They will also comment on the popular TV dramas during Ramadan. We will have a reporter on the ground in Jeddah. In the second segment, we will have a guest with whom the hosts will play a game. Guests will not necessarily be celebrities; we are number-agnostic. It is not about Twitter followers as much as the story that we are following.”

#HawanahZein will be produced by YallaFeed with support from Hollywood-based production company, Propagate. The format is based on Propagate’s show, #WhatsHappening, which debuted on Twitter last October. It will be hosted by two content creators, Abdullah and Nour Ali Saad Fakhr (Aboud and Noor), who are identical twins.

Describing it as a “late evening show”, Kinda Ibrahim, Director Media Partnerships, MENA, Twitter said: “We have been looking at live content for the past two years with major deals, more than 30, signed with organisations such as Fox Sports, major league soccer and more recently with Disney, NBC and Viacom, among others. We have been working with STEP group for some time helping them monetise their video content. With people consuming live feeds in a big way given the success of the likes of BuzzFeed’s morning show, it made sense for us to bring the current social conversations among Arab millennials in a curated live stream format. Since the platform in the region is Arabic, the show will be in Arabic.”

YallaFeed and StepFeed are among the first publishers in the region that have partnered with Twitter’s In Stream Sponsorships; a programme pairing advertisers and publishers. Unilever’s Lipton, Omo and Knorr brands have signed on as sponsors for this show.

With the show being shot in the studios of the STEP Group, Moussalli stressed the dynamic nature of the show from live tweets to polls that directly engage with audience.

He added: “The show will be unpredictable, funny and insightful –essentially capturing the spirit of the conversation that happens post prime-time TV during Ramadan. We hope to have a core group of superfans who will wait for the show and watch it live and engage with it actively.”

The live stream will be free and accessible globally to logged-in and logged-out users on Twitter and connected devices. The stream will air every Monday and Thursday from 12am-12.20am KSA, via @YallaFeed.