Social media and India

The Next Web recently unearthed an interesting video by Nielsen on social media use in India.

That social media use is on the increase, in India as elsewhere, is hardly headline news. But it is worth dwelling on its speed and direction.

Granted, it would have been nice to have some detail on the sources used – particularly compared to something like TNS’ Digital Life study.

I’m guessing at least part of the figures come from research Nielson released last month on how social media compares to email use in India. (An online survey of 2,000 people from “all walks of life spread across top five metros and Tier 1 cities” in India.)

But back to the video, which says India (population 1.21 billion) has 80 million internet users, one third of whom are on social media sites.

It shows Facebook doing increasingly brisk business, almost certainly at the expense of Google’s Orkut. The Social Network currently has 24 million users in India, but it acquired nine million of them in just the last six months.

This makes India the fifth largest country for Facebook, and it’s predicted to be the 2nd largest by 2012.

In terms of some of the other major social media sites, LinkedIn has 10 million users (not, as The Next Web’s Vikas SN points out, the nine million stated in the video) and Twitter has nine million users in India.

Twitter is also expected to grow its user-base in the country over the next six months at the rate of some 25,000 new accounts each day.

Finally, the video notes that India has 450 million mobile users, and 240 million of them used the internet via their phones last year.

Given the high profile of social media, the numbers accessing these sites via their phones is surprisingly low at just two million, though this number is expected to grow by 36 times over the next three years.

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