Internet usage in India is on the rise. A whopping 71 million claim to have used the internet during last year in the Indian subcontinent. Even though 71 million is a rather small number compared to the 1.2 billion people that live in the country, increasing usage of the Internet is surely a very positive sign.
In a study released on April 5, 2009, number of people who claimed to have used internet in 2009 stood at 71 million. The study was conducted by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and marketing research firm IMRB that was titled, ‘Internet in India’.
It is important to note that 71 million is the number of people who claimed to have used the internet in some form at least once during last year. According to the study, this category of ‘claimed users’ is an important one, as it can contribute to our understanding of future trends in today’s active user base.
Another category that is mentioned in this study is active users. Active users are those who have used the internet at least once a month. According to the study, of the 71 million people who used the internet in India last year, 52 million were active users. In other words 52 million Indian nationals have used the internet at least once a month during last year.
This number has risen dramatically since the previous year. In the previous year, this number stood at 42 million. The increase in the number of active users therefore shows a year on year growth of 19%, which is very encouraging indeed.
"This surge in number has been primarily due to the increased numbers of users in the remote urban pockets (small metros and towns) and among lower socio-economic classes (SEC C, D and E),” it said.
Another important factor to consider is the number of hours the internet is used on an average by the user. This figure has also shown an impressive incline. Internet usage has gone up from 9.3 hours per week to 15.7 hours per week, a steep 70% rise, the report said.
Factors that seem to have contributed to this increase in internet usage include innovative content delivery, better applications and availability of cutting edge technology on the net. Also, its use for entertainment purposes has increased exponentially with the increase in trends like downloading music or videos. Social networking sites and expressing one’s own opinions and views through micro-blogging and user-generated content sites has led to an increase in Internet usage, it added. "We are happy to note while people in the smaller towns are taking to internet seriously, for a deeper engagement we need to provide them the best innovations in the language of their choice, at an access cost that does not pinch and through a device that they have.” IAMAI President Subho Ray said.