Social media plays an integral role in the lives of people, providing them with services that connect them socially, update them on the recent happenings in the world and enable them to sell various products. In Kuwait, the sales of products on social media recently took a more fishy turn with people selling their fresh catch online. The fact that people are selling fish online might seem odd; however, it is happening in Kuwait and through social media tools like Twitter, Instagram, and Whatsapp, fish can be delivered to your door step within a few hours.
Speaking to the media in a number of interviews, fishmongers and consumers said that using media was a convenient idea, which saves both time and in many occasions money. Fisherman Mohammad Mataqi said that he used Instagram to sell his product as a means to sell freshly-caught fish to the consumers without the involvement of the market.
He said that he began his business through selling fish to his relatives and then expanded his operation to provide fish to anyone through his Instagram account.
Similarly, a fisherman by the name of Osama said that he also started using social media to sell fish, indicating that he preferred to use Twitter. Jumping on the bandwagon, fish companies have started to use social media to attract customers. An official at a local fish company, preferred not to be named, said that there was a huge demand for fish through social media sites, affirming that business on that level was going smoothly.
On the consumers’ part, Khaled Al-Saleh said that prices of fish online were not that different from the market, but affirmed that there was much flexibility in bargaining for fish using social media.Senior citizen, Ali Al-Failikawi said that he liked to buy fish through social media tools, noting that the fishermen would come to their houses with their catch of the day without the complications of going to the market and metaphorically “fighting” for the best price.
Of course it is not all ‘sunshine and rainbows’ when discussing social media and fish marketing. Some individuals loath the fact that people were using technology to sell fish. Nasser Al-Azmi, a retired army official, said that going to the fish market was a tradition that must be upheld for the sake of future generations. He said that he was against using social media which he thinks would affect the relation between consumers and sellers. Whether it is bad or good, the social media arm had extend itself to reach the fish market, revolutionizing how people would get their products and that, without a doubt, is an indication that the world is continuously changing.