Fin Tech Focus

Bahrain’s new platform

February 12 - 18 , 2020

Gulf Weekly Naman Arora
By Naman Arora

Gulf Weekly Bahrain’s new platform

Bahrain’s own social media network, GDNLife was launched earlier this week, giving residents an opportunity to share stories and events while engaging with the Bahraini community.

The new website, added to Al Hilal Group’s integrated publishing platform, establishes GulfWeekly and the Gulf Daily News (GDN) as the only media in Bahrain with a social media network dedicated to the kingdom’s community of citizens and expatriates.

Ronnie Middleton, Al Hilal Group’s managing director, said: “Newspapers have had to embrace new technology as well as the accompanying social media which has advanced significantly in the last decade. We have been part of that with our print edition, online edition as well as our various social media channels on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

“Three years ago, we asked ourselves, what more can we do to interact with our readers. With everyone using social media these days, a good way of getting our readers more involved is to provide a platform for citizen journalists. That’s what GDNLife aims to be, by allowing readers to share videos, pictures and stories with the local community.”

The platform encompasses 15 categories, including food, motoring, sports, travel, technology, fashion, education, entertainment and photography.

GDNLife is also the latest addition to GulfWeekly’s online portfolio, giving advertisers unprecedented reach to Bahrain’s vibrant community.

Ronnie added: “We now have four elements that provide our clients with an integrated publishing platform – print, online, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and now, our own interactive social media designed specifically for Bahrain.

“So when an advertiser comes to us, they are getting an integrated publishing solution and intense community platform unlike anything offered by any other media. We decided to go down this unprecedented route to provide massive reach, more so than an individual blogger may have and a chance to be an active part of the Bahraini community.”

The platform has been designed, created and is supported by Bahrain-based North Star Media, aiming to provide a platform that cuts through the noise of global content to deliver topics tailored to the interests of local residents and citizens.

All submitted content is moderated by the GDN Online team, to ensure no offensive content is uploaded and a high standard of quality is maintained.

Andre Bigg, creative director of Al Hilal Group, said: “I, along with a team of diverse designers and programmers, designed this over the last year. We noticed that on social media platforms like Facebook, it’s very easy to get lost in a sea of information and you tend to see stories based only on profiles or groups you choose to follow.

“With GDNLife, we show visitors stories relevant to Bahrain at large, with the option to drill down into 15 specific categories if they desire. The desktop and mobile responsive platform has also been designed for longer form content, so if users have an interesting story related to a photo or video they upload, we have built in tools to help them create and showcase their content creatively.”

This latest addition to Al Hilal Group’s portfolio which includes GulfWeekly, Arabian Business Community (ABC) Bahrain, Gulf Construction, Gulf Industry, Oil & Gas News and Travel & Tourism News, aims to provide a cutting-edge platform for up-and-coming social media influencers and bloggers to reach their local audience.

GDN Online editor Stan Szecowka said: “GDN Online is the voice of Bahrain and now GDNLife is the voice of the community. Readers can now share their news and views, trials and tribulations and everything going on in their lives on this one-of-a-kind platform. Hundreds of people have created accounts and uploaded content within the first few hours of the launch. 

“I encourage everyone to create an account today and share significant moments of their life with the community. This is life. This is GDNLife.”

Scan the QR code below to create an account and follow GulfWeekly on GDNlife!

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