In the frenetic game of social networking on the Internet, Facebook has overturned entrenched leader Orkut — owned by search giant Google — in India, according to data from comScore, the global research firm that monitors traffic on the Web.
In two separate reports comScore, and Vizisense —the Indian online audience measurement agency — said Facebook had 22 million unique users (registered visitors) in July in India, growing 179 percent from the year-ago period, and ahead of Orkut, with 18.5 million.
While comScore puts Facebook at under 22 million, Vizisense puts it a little above. Lesser known sites such as Ibibo.com, BharatStudent command insignificant shares, while LinkedIn, though small in number, has a focused career orientation.
“Though Facebook has tripled its audience in the past year to pace the growth for the category, several other social networking sites have posted their own sizeable gains,” said Will Hodgman, comScore executive vice-president for the Asia-Pacific region.
“Facebook is seeing a consistent growth and increasing its traffic at 7-8 per cent a month. Orkut is stagnant and dying a natural death. Both Facebook and Twitter are collectively growing at 7-8 per cent in India,” said Amit Bhartiya, ViziSense.
More than 33 million Internet users aged 15 and older in India visited social networking sites in July, representing 84 per cent of the total Internet audience. India now the seventh largest market for social networking, after US, China, Germany, Russia, Brazil and UK.
The total Indian social networking audience grew by 43 per cent last year, more than triple the rate of growth of the total Internet audience in India.