At the weekend, I saw a Tamil romantic comedy, “Kaadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Eppadi” (How to Screw Up in Love). My epiphanic moment in the breezy story came when the protagonist college student’s father logs in to Facebook to discover his son’s girlfriend.
When parents are on Facebook in a regional Indian movie, you know things have changed.
Last week, Bloomberg Business Week magazine, citing digital analytics company Socialbakers, said by 2015, India will have more Facebook users than any other country, shifting the social networking action away from the West to the East.
Socialbakers says India’s Facebook population is growing 22% every six months. It currently has 46.3 million, behind Brazil’s 48 million and the US, which is far ahead with 156.8 million. Given the growth current clip, India and the US are expected to level at 170 to 175 million by 2015.
If that is not evidence that India’s Internet economy is hot, sample some statistics compiled from leading websites by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) last week.
-India’s online recruitment portals saw 2.0 million resume uploads in April, 2012, up from 1.82 million in April, 2011.
— Matrimonial profile uploads rose to 2.74 million in April from 1.35 million a year ago.
— E-tailers of branded apparel saw 5 million visits in April, up from 2.54 million a year earlier.
— Irctc.com saw 5.56 million e-ticket bookings in April, up from 2.26 million in April, 2011.
On May 23, I saw visible optimism at the India Internet Day organised by Delhi chapter The Indus Entrepeneurs (TiE) network, with CEOs of Web startups oozing with ideas and data to convey a rosy picture. I have seen an Internet “dotcom” bubble bust around 2000. I just wonder if the projections made before that bubble are coming true now.