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Social Media in India 2012 – User Base & engagement expected to increase


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Social networking in India is rapidly rising with adoption from young professionals and students.

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Social Media in India 2012 – User Base & engagement expected to increase

  1. 1. Analysis & OutlookSocial Media in India 2012 – User Base & engagement expected to increaseSimilar to the global phenomenon Social media in India is driven by young andeducated in the cities and towns across India and 2011 saw a tremendous rise in thenumber of users and their activity in terms of time spent, engagement levels and qualityon various social networking sites. According to Telecom Regulatory Authority ofIndia there has been rapid rise in the number of internet users in India and has reached121 million users in 2011. Broadband too has seen significant growth in 2011with13.30 million users (22% YoY) compared to 10.92 million users in 2010 and isexpected to reach 15.9 million users by end of 2012. 80% of the internet users are urbanusers and 20% are rural users in India and educated young people and professionalsacross industry verticals like IT, BFSI, Retail, Automobile, Pharma, etc are driving thesocial networking sites usage in India. Indians migrate to United States (US) foreducation and jobs and most of them will be in constant touch with friends in Indiawhich led to the rise in usage of social networks and it was even more increased as UScompanies set up offices in India employing thousands of people here, Indians usingmore technology products like mobiles, laptops, other computing devices like PCs,tablets and finally the voyeuristic appeal with open networks drove the usage further.Most popular social networking site in India is Facebook as recently it has dethronedIndonesia from the number 2 slot with 46 million monthly active users in February2012 on the site, an increase of 132% from the prior year. 75% of Facebook users inIndia are male and metro cities dominate the usage in India. Google+ has a total userbase of 12.3 million in India with 86% of the users being male and dominated bystudents and young professionals. Twitter has a total user base of more than 14 millionin India and is the sixth largest country in terms of accounts and the micro blogging inIndia has not risen in India when compared to other social networking sites as Indiansare not comfortable with a 140 character limit. LinkedIn the professional networkingsite has more than 14million user base in India and is one of the rapidly growing socialnetworks in India. Orkut was the initial dominant social networking site in India untilFacebook entry and it has around 18 million user base in India but the network whichwas acquired by Google is fading into oblivion as Google is more focused on Google+.Indian social networking sites too have significant user base in India and Ibibo hasaround 12 million users base and BharatStudent has around 7 million users base.Urban cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune,Ahmedabad and other tier 1and 2 cities and towns dominate the social networkingusage in India. 75% is dominated by male and mostly the young students andprofessionals in the age group of 18-24 are dominating the social media usage followedby the 25-34 age group. They spend hours every month on the various socialnetworking sites and actively engage with friends and others. Most of the users areusing social media to stay in touch with friends, track and update their activities, socialgaming, follow groups and communities, discuss social, political cultural andentertainment topics and also look for information about brands, products and alsoprovide their feedback. People are actively voicing their opinions on the socialnetworks as was evident during the Jan Lokpal movement by Anna Hazare and histeam in 2011 and the movement was supported by people actively through the varioussocial networks. Accessing and using the social networking sites through mobiles isRajesh Prabhakar Analyst Bio @
  2. 2. Analysis & Outlookalso on the rise as most of the cell phone manufacturers selling in India are sellinghandsets that are easy to use for social networking and are having inbuilt socialnetworking applications of the popular social networks at low prices.There has been rapid rise in the number of ecommerce portals in India and alsobusinesses selling their products and services online. Most of these businesses areactively engaging their consumers on the various social networks through games,contest, and other content. Telecommunications services providers like Tata Docomo,Airtel, Vodafone, Mobile handsets makers like Samsung, LG, Nokia, HTC, Automobilemanufacturers like Ford, Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra & Mahindra, Volkswagen,ecommerce sites like Flipkart, sports goods manufacturers like Nike, Adidas, beverageslike Bacardi, Pepsi, Coke and consumer products like Nestle Maggi, etc are all veryactive in India and many Indian users are actively engaging with these brands andcompanies. Content focused at Indian users both by businesses and individuals is beingcreated and Indian users of the various social networking sites like the content andmaking the content viral like the recent song Kolaveri Di. Most of the celebritiesbelonging to the cinema world, sports personalities, politicians, artists, business leadersand activists are all actively engaging and participating in the various social networkingsites. Indian Users are also actively engaging in the global issues and events on thesocial networking sites and voicing their opinions.There also have been some issues with social networking sites in India and thegovernment had issued notices to all the major players in the country in relation to thederogatory content and content that is hurting the feelings of certain sections of thepeople. The government has instructed the social networking companies to sensor suchcontent and remove it immediately failing which strict penalties and legal actions willbe taken against the companies responsible. The rapid rise in the social media usage inthe recent years has forced the government for regulating the usage and the policy wasframed last year in this regards. There were protests against too much regulation by thegovernment as the users were concerned about their right to express themselves freelybut due to certain incidents over the various social networks that hurt the sentimentsand feelings of people government were forced to act and frame the policy.With increasing penetration of the internet and improvement in the technologyinfrastructure in India, the social media usage in India is expected to increase and thiswill be even pushed further with significant rise in the sales of the mobiles, laptops,tablets and other computing devices in India. With availability of more informationabout brands, companies, issues, hobbies, interest etc and increase in presence ofcompanies, governments, politicians, celebrities etc the social media usage across allthe age groups is also expected to increase in near future. There is also significant pushfrom the social networking companies and social gaming companies focusing on theIndian User base will also see growth in user base. These companies are localizing thecontent, providing language supports in local languages and also improving theunderlying technologies so that the users can use these sites easily. Privacy issues interms of individual privacy, personal data security, government and regulatory policyissues in terms of content and the issue of targeting the ads based on personal sensitiveinformation are the significant negative factors that may hamper the growth in nearfuture. 2012 will be interesting and exciting year for social media in India.Rajesh Prabhakar Analyst Bio @