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When Government Restrictions Soften…

May 19, 2015

This may not be something that you’re particularly aware of if you are a Los Angeles social media company targeting only Los Angeles markets. But if you’re aiming for international readership, there are still places in the world where social media cannot reach because of government restrictions.

However, this situation can change on a dime, as recent news from the Islamic Republic of Iran makes clear. The country has typically had an antagonistic relationship with the internet, social networking sites, and Western media. In recent months a number of Facebook users have been arrested for their posts to the site, which many Iranians use in violation of a government ban.

That fact means that there is a semi-open window for foreign and local social media companies to reach a young audience that is supposed to be off-limits to them. It is an equally powerful tool for marketing and for political messages. And it has been used as such.

Now, that window may be opening a little wider due to the fact that Iran just gave contracts to its mobile service providers, allowing access to 3G internet in place of the deliberately slow speeds that had been kept in place before. This is happening at the same time that negotiations with the West are making some Western businesses excited about the prospect of sanctions ending against the Islamic Republic, so that they can legally do business with it again.

Those businesses would do well to make the young and tech savvy Iranian market aware of their brands by using their own or a local social media company in order to reach a mobile audience that has just opened up.

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