The one billion internet game: what clicks with Indians

Internet usage is India is growing and driving its growth is the obsessive usage of social media by 15 to 24 years olds - reveals a recent State of the internet report by Comscore with special focus on India. Rashmi Chugh writes. The definitive guide to internet trends

business Updated: Aug 12, 2011 12:26 IST
Rashmi Chugh
Rashmi Chugh
Hindustan Times

Internet usage is growing in India and driving its growth is usage of social media by 15 to 24 years olds reveals a recent State of the Internet report by Comscore with special focus on India.

Unlike the rest of the world, 75 % of the audience in India is aged below 35. Indian men in general spend more time on the Net except the 35 to 44 year old evolved urban female who spends close to two hours more, showing a distinct proclivity to social network, email and IM, more than her male counterparts.

One reason fuelling net usage in India is wanderlust. “The online travel category has grown due to the convenience of travel information and transaction,” said Kedar Gavane, comScore Director for India.

Since the report came out in June, Google acquired its billionth user and chances are that this person is from the Asia Pacific region. However, does this mean that one out of seven people on the earth are searching on Google? We aren’t too sure.

Oligarchy on the Net

· Both Google and Facebook clearly own the audience on the web.

· 714 million unique users on Facebook spend 700 billion minutes per month globally.

· Facebook is translated into 70 languages and more than 70% Facebook users are outside the US.

· More than a billion of the total internet user base of 1.3 billion lands on Google.

· Google is available in 63 languages and still counting.

Also if you get poked more on Facebook than in real life (even by colleagues who sit across the table), it is because Facebook and Social networking are monopolising 21% of all time spent online. Networking sites reach 84% of the web audience in India, and yes the radio jockeys are right Orkut users are no longer desirable with Facebook denizens clearly taking over. A last bastion before Brazil Facebook overtook Orkut numbers last August and the gap is only widening.

Of the 73 million Indian users, usage time stays a low of 12.5 hours but expected to rise once home/work Internet penetration increases and mass broadband becomes a reality.

So what is everyone doing online if they are not on Google or Facebook? e-mail, Downloads, Community, Multimedia, Directories, News ,Information Technology and Blogs in that order.

Indians are traveling and we have the highest reach to travel sites among the BRIC countries and at almost the same levels as Europe and North America’s. Growth, moreover, is at a robust 13% while growth in the region and globally were flat. Visitors to Travel sites increased 32% in the past year. Online Travel Agent sites (OTAs) secured the remainder of the four top spots in the category. MakeMyTrip reached nearly 3.9 million visitors (up 63%) followed by Yatra Online with 3.5 million visitors (up 82%) and with more than 2.1 million visitors (up 80%).

Fifty-eight per cent of Indian web users visited a News site, a category that is similarly popular among web users in the other BRIC countries. Yahoo news leads the pack with Non-resident Indians contributing between 50 to 60% traffic to top Indian News sites. Growth in India was 16% over the past year, outpacing regional growth of 2% and global growth at 3%.

Entertainment sites along with Sports draw 77% users turning to the web for their music, movies, humour needs. Given the region’s appetite for Entertainment, expect to see continued growth in online video consumption as broadband penetration continues to increase.

*Comscore reports are based on a two million person panel and provide a 360° view of Web Visiting & Search Behaviour.

*Unique Visitors represent the number of unduplicated (counted only once) visitors to your website over the course of a specified time period. A Unique Visitor is determined using cookies.

First Published: Jun 25, 2011 23:27 IST