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India's e-social life explodes

Facebook India crossed the 50-million mark only last week, the number of mobile phone subscribers is expected to cross one billion in the next few months, and Indians now have 16 million Twitter accounts out of a total of 500 million worldwide. Gaurav Choudhury and Vivek Sinha report.Connected India | Explaining the trend

social media Updated: Jul 29, 2012 02:09 IST

Facebook India crossed the 50-million mark only last week, the number of mobile phone subscribers is expected to cross one billion in the next few months, and Indians now have 16 million Twitter accounts out of a total of 500 million worldwide.

Today, the average Indian is more connected than ever before.

Add to this 17 billion minutes of phone calls and 1.5 billion text messages exchanged daily and you have a digital network growing at an unprecedented pace. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/7/29_07_12-metro2c.jpg

Tech-savvy ones like Avantika Gaur, a college student from Meerut, see this as an opportunity. In spite of being an aspiring writer, Gaur isn't chasing newspapers for jobs.

"I feel elated when my articles, which I post on Facebook and Twitter, receive responses from far away," she says.

Technology becoming affordable has further fuelled ambition. About 60% of Indians who visit social networking websites now do so via smartphones, available for as cheap as Rs. 5,000.

But it's not just about making virtual friends. Job hunting, looking for a place to eat and even shopping has taken a digital turn, and internet giants recognise the potential.

"Many brands now first launch their television commercials on YouTube to get instant feedback," says a Google India spokesperson.

Industry estimates suggest that around Rs. 100 crore or an estimated 10% of total digital media budget is garnered by various social media sites in India.

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