Lately Google has been talking a lot about mobile internet and internet usage in India. According to Google-India, India will have over 200 million internet users by 2013. Other points from the report,
- India has 100 million internet users now (September 2011) – only 8% of 1.2 billion are online in India.
- India will add 200 million Internet users by 2013.
- India will reach 300 million internet users by 2014.
- Reason for the surge in internet users: Telecom carriers invest in high-speed wireless infrastructure and smartphones become cheaper.
- India is the third largest internet market by users (behind China and US)
- But monetization will continue to be a challenge as print & TV still get the max revenue in the ad pie.
- Current ad size market in India: $200 billion. Global ad size market: $8 billion. Google earns about $100 million in India from India.
- India’s ecommerce size: $5 billion. China’s ecom size: $80 billion.
- Google search in India has about 63 million users (I would have expected it to be a lot higher)
- Facebook India: 42.7 million, Google+ in India: 3 million
- Internet sector in India can flourish in India ONLY if Govt relooks at the Web censorship rules
India doesn’t need just users, but Active Users
While these projections look good I would be more happy to see an increase in the “active user base”. People will use the internet only if it is mandatory. Most of the income tax activities require you to use the internet but then a very dismissal percentage of our population are tax payers.
Airline ticket buyers have largely moved to the internet. Even if they buy it from a local agency it is a given that the agency is using the internet to buy the airline ticket.
Active users of Twitter in India are very low (approximately 300,000 as of now). Let us hope active internet users will be something far better.
As penetration grows the consumption of Indian languages is bound to increase. Just yesterday I attended IAMAI‘s first Working Group of Local Languages. It was good to hear from various stake holders in the language space about how big the Indic space will be in India. Government has to play a big role in ensuring internet penetration grows exponentially in India.