The State of Social Media in India, 2012

We are already halfway into the 3rd month of 2013 I was beginning to worry as to when we are going to have all the juicy data from last year.

But don’t worry. The IAMAI (Internet & Mobile Association of India) has finally come up with it’s report on the State of Social Media in India for the year 2012. Social media has seen a lot of change in 2012 and the report does highlight it pretty well.

Social Media in India, 2012

I hope you all have opened your pitch presentations and are ready to add some new data points in it. Let’s roll now, shall we?

Social Networking is the 2nd Most Favorite Online Activity Of Urban Indian Users

Email ahead of social networking

To be honest, I believed it will THE MOST favorite online activity but Email seems to have that crown for now. I thought Email was on its death bed but I was wrong. While 80% of Urban Internet users use Email, Social networking comes close at 72%. I guess in the coming years, social networking will trump Email, thanks to the widespread adoption of smartphones.

College-going Young Men Dominate Social Media

Demographically speaking, 84% of college going students and 82% of young men are the most active people on social media. While it is not surprising, it is quite alarming to see that young women are not that active on social media.

College going young men on social media

Now compare this to the fact that most eCommerce stores try to target women on social media as they are (perceived to be) the ones who engage better than men.

Social Media Usage on Mobile is High

Of the total 39.7 active mobile Internet users, more than 80% of them use their mobile devices for social networking. In fact, of the total 24 odd million mobile internet users from the top 35 cities, 77% of them are actively using it to access social networking sites regularly.

Mobile Internet Activities

But again Email trumps social networking as it is favored by 83% of the users.

If you’re an app developer, let me inform you that social networking apps are a huge hit with the Indian mobile userbase. 81% of people are using social apps on their mobile closely followed by Entertainment (73%) and Gaming (69%).

Facebook is Still The Most Loved Platform

A huge majority, read 97%, of the active social media users are hooked to Facebook. And what do they do on Facebook? 73% are spending time using Facebook apps and 43% are accessing the groups. Contrary to popular belief, only 11% are actually chatting or messaging there.

Popular social networksFacebook Activities

But this data is less surprising in comparison the data I am going to talk about next.

Google Plus is the 2nd most favorite platform with more than a third of the social media population active on it. I just can’t fathom how this has happened because Google Plus is just so lame!! (Except the Hangout feature which is amazingly kickass)

LinkedIn and Twitter follow next.

The report also tells that people spend close to 30 minutes everyday on social media.

My Conclusions

To be honest, I am surprised. First of all, the report mentions that there are 105 million active Internet users in India. Wasn’t it 120 million last year? or was it 80 million? or 95 million? Ok, I should avoid going into the murky waters.

But what surprised me the most was the popularity of Google Plus. I agree that it has more users than LinkedIn and Twitter, but are they active? I don’t think so. And I am not saying this because of my hatred for Google Plus, it is well known notion (that’s the closest I can come to saying ‘fact’).

And I am pretty sure ‘Using Apps’ is not what majority of Facebook users do. In 2009/10, yes. But not in 2012.

Anyways, you can download the entire report here. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.