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Net basics

»Are the following statements true or false? More than a quarter of active Internet users in India are in rural areas. Less than a fifth of online users in India are women. Job searching is more popular than social networking. If you are not sure, refer to the AsiaPacific Digital Marketing Yearbook to get your online basics right.    
There are 121 million Internet users in India, covering 8.2% of total population.

Ninety-nine million of them are active internet users, connect at least once a month. Seventy-three million are in main cities and 24 million in rural areas. The gender balance on Internet is seriously lopsided. Eighty-three of net users are reportedly men and a paltry 17% women.

Most popular online activities for Indians: emailing (98% of surveyed users), searching or buying non-travel products (76%), downloading music (69%), job searching (62%), social networking (61%), searching or buying travel products (59%).

Surprisingly, the four most popular web sites in India are non-Indian - Google sites, Facebook, Yahoo and Microsoft sites. In contrast, in China, local sites dominate thanks to the impregnable Chinese language and a suspicious government.

The foreign domination continues in popular domains such as entertainment where YouTube, CBS interactive, BeeMP3, Yahoo’s OMG, Metacafe lead the list.
Online videos are happening in India. Seventy-four per cent Indians said they view online videos and 47 % have uploaded a clip. YouTube, the most popular entertainment site, reached 30 million users in March 2012.
The health of the Internet depends on the revenue it generates. In 2011 e-commerce  market was worth $ 3 billion. It will increase to 20 billion in the next 5 to 7 years. Indians buy from beer to washing machines online. Products which more than 15% of users said they buy online: tickets, mobile phones, clothes, shoes, music, films, books and gifts. Online travel, the undisputed leader of e-commerce, accounts for 76% of revenues. Amazon, Flipkart, Apple, Myntra, Samsung are top 5 e-commerce sites.  Online advertising generates $410 million a year, 7% of total advertising spend. By 2015 it will quadruple to 1.6 billion. Mobile advertising, worth 56.5 million in 2011, will reach 247 million by 2015.

In 2011, Indians bought just 2.2% of the smarphones manufactured in the world. By 2016 they will buy 10% of smartphones and the country will rank among top 5 smartphone markets of the world. Indian smartphone users spend 72% of their time on games, entertainment, apps and other online activities. Their most popular apps: Facebook, GPS and Youtube.

There are 43 million Indians on social network sites and they grew by 23% in 2011. Facebook reaches 56% of online Indians. Twitter reaches 1 in 12; LinkedIn 1 in 8.
The Yearbook data is compiled from various sources, each with a different sample size and methodology. So there is no one to vouch for how true or false the findings are! But together they given an idea about a country rapidly getting wired.

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