Recently the newly launched MXMIndia, a portal for media and marketing fraternity, wanted my thoughts on Indian languages on the internet. Also they wanted the response “now”, don’t all media houses work that way? My response was part of the entire article “Slow and not-yet-steady…“. The text I sent them is below,
- Has the Indian language content in the internet space evolved over the years? Are we seeing more adoption of the Indian language content online today?
Oneindia.in is the oldest player in the language space on the internet. We have witnessed and even lead the growth of Indian languages on the net.There was a time when we saw 85% of our traffic was from NRIs. Post 2007 we saw the page views increasing from India, now we get over 60% of our traffic from India. The broadband penetration, mainly due to BSNL, has helped the growth of internet in non-urban India. Also, most schools have internet in their curriculum. So children lead the usage of internet at homes and other members have felt they might as well use the internet.
- In the long run do you see a trend of Indian language consumption growing faster than English content?
Whatever is happening in print, TV will happen on the internet. The language pie is far bigger than English in print and TV. English will also grow but the language pie will be very large.
- Are there any lessons which India can and should learn on using Indian language content from the non English speaking countries?
India is a very different country when compared to the European countries and China. Their native language is the primary language used for communication. In India while most parts of the country is non-English we have to deal with bi-lingual user base.The user behavior of an English portal is different from a language one. We need to recognize what these users want and provide that content.
- What according to you needs to be done in order to drive up Indian language consumption in the long run?
Goverment has to play a big role in promoting languages. There is a huge confusion in which font and keyboard to use. I have written many such articles on my blog.
- What are the challenges and opportunities for the internet companies in this space for the future?
One needs a lot of patience and sustaining power to do well in the Indian language space. There are many opportunities in this space – for e.g. ecommerce will be a reality in the langauge space in the coming years. With mobile internet becoming big one can think of providing various language services for the massive mobile user base in India
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