Social networks the next big thing in India
It is no secret to anyone that emerging markets lead world in social networking growth. After last week’s estimation presented by emarketer.com – the number of social network users in the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific, will grow from 1.18 billion (in 2011) to 1.4 billion (in 2012). According to the same source this year Facebook users grow fastest in Asia-Pacific, where adoption rates in India, Indonesia and Japan far exceed the worldwide average growth of 26% this year.
In terms of social networks the future is bright. comScore released a study which shows that social networking sites are dominating the Internet activity, with citizens spending on average one in four minutes online on a social networking sites.
If we take a closer look at the Indian Internet space, in June 2012, 57.8 million Indian Internet users aged 15 and older accessed their computer from home or work and Facebook achieved 83.4 percent of penetration in the Indian market. The social network achieved nearly 51 million unique visitors from the country in a single month. Three months ago, Facebook had about 46.3 million users, according to Socialbakers. At that time, India became the third biggest Facebook market, behind the U.S., now at 156,830,580 users, and Brazil, with 48,041,640.
The same comScore report showed that the users spend 1 in every 4 minutes online on social networks. Facebook users were most engaged spending almost 4 hours on the site. This is followed by Google Sites (2.5 hours) with 94.8 percent penetration. Among the local brands, Network 18 is the most popular with visitors averaging 31.6 minute on the site during the month.
In terms of top activities, Indian Internet users spent 25.2% of their time on social networks in June, an increase of 0.8% from the previous year. Entertainment sites ranked second, accounting for 10% of minutes (up 1.2% points from the previous year), while Portals accounted for 8.8 percent of total minutes. Also, retail sites grew 0.5% in the past year as Indian consumers become more active shopping online.
Are social networks going to be king in India during the next period?
According to Eleanor Armitage, a PR representative for Socialbakers, the number of Indian Facebook users is growing 22 percent every six months. In this case India will edge out the U.S. toward the end of 2014, when both countries are expected to have 170 million to 175 million members (www.businessweek.com). This space it’s going to be extremely interesting to watch since India is mostly an untapped market with a population counting more than 1.2 billion people and Facebook users constitute less than 4 percent of the population. And it seems that the social network is targeting intensively younger people which are most likely to drive the social media revolution within the country.
This article was written by social media professional Denisa Caciulan.