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September 21, 2011, 4:18 pm UTC
Internet usage in India is growing at a very healthy rate and is close to a 100 million active users. This is just about 8.5% of the total population of India. Now one can imagine the kind of growth opportunities that are appended with this country. About a decade ago, one would not believe these numbers to be at just about 25,000 Internet users. But the times are changing since then and now the growth is into the top gear.
In recent news covered by the Wall Street Journal, Google has forecasted the growth of Internet users in India to be at a 200% increase by 2014. This is a big jump in the number of users where India, if grows at this rate, will surpass 300 million users by the same time. The two primary reasons behind such a forecast is the widespread investment in high-speed wireless networks and lower priced smartphones in the country.
Reasons for Growth Forecast
The forecast also comes with findings associated with Google properties. For e.g., Google’s video sharing site YouTube has around 20 million unique users across India and the same is believed to grow to 30 million by end of 2011 itself. Also with amount of growth Google+ as a social network is experiencing, it is easily predictable that the future is bright for social media and eventually Internet in India.Besides, Social Networking is also adding to a quantitative growth in the country. Facebook, Youtube and Twitter are the top social networking sites with more than 60 millions registered users. These sites are growing in the user base specially attracting the non-Internet people. Thus in turn increasing the web traffic and Internet usage. Also there are a lot of branding campaigns done on the web like a car launch on Facebook by Maruti or a Live streaming of a sporting event like Indian Premier League (IPL). Ecommerce on the other hand is growing and is projected to grow to 46,520 by the end of this year.Considering the low penetration levels of Internet usage in India, the growth is far more aspirational as compared to saturated markets like US & UK. To add to it, India already has the third largest volume of Internet users after the US, and China. Same goes with the advertising spends as online advertising amounts to only US$200 million a year that is just a fraction of the $80 billion spent on digital advertising worldwide.
As far as the growth is concerned, Internet users will even surpass the 300 million users by 2014. It will be an interesting watch to see how mobile and e-commerce will shape with regards to consumer activity on the Internet. Do let us know in the comments section as to what you think will be the future of Internet in India.
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