India’s digital media: Not a fad, it’s just getting started

Indians are taking to social media like never before. Google and Facebook have already realized it. From opening offices in India to including Indic languages and sending Internet enabled buses to India’s hinterlands, they are doing it all.

At the center of all this Internet and social media craze are four companies – Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. India adores Google and can’t get enough of Facebook.

After cricket, Facebook might be the single factor which can unite India. If you feel that is an exaggeration then look at this staggering numbers released by Nielsen in a cute video.

Internet will be the go-to medium for anyone as it will surpass TV. There are 80 million Internet users in India and 134 million homes with TV.

In addition to the 80 million Internet users, there are 240 million Indians who have experienced Internet on their mobile phones. If anything this trend will continue with the ubiquity of Internet enabled phones and the availability of 3G and 4G services.

Of the 80 million Internet users, two thirds are on some kind of social networks and 37 million are on Facebook alone. There are close to 10 million users on LinkedIn and India’s consulting firms plan to hire 35% of their intake from Linkedin and other similar sites. 20 million Indians are looking for job on the Internet, every month.

Twitter has seen some phenomenal growth ever since it was introduced to India by Mallika Sherawat and popularized later by Shashi Tharoor and Lalit Modi. Twitter now has 13 million users with 16,000 joining every day.

54 million are expected to check out online reviews and 21 million Indians are expected to ‘review’ their future partners using social media.

Overall 6 million mobile users have accessed social media sites from their mobile phones and this is expected to grow 36 fold to 108 million in the next 3 years.

In essence: India is searching on Google, hiring on LinkedIn, liking on Facebook and cribbing on Twitter.

If we leave searching out of the equation, Internet means social media for most Indians.

What should brands do and how should they play? That’s a tough one. On a second thought it’s pretty easy. Brands should show up on Facebook and use discretion to shut up. Also try to get some soup songs going.

Nielsen’s video :