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Social Media, Videos, Gaming Are The Most Popular Activities On Mobile In India

As the number of mobile subscribers in India is almost reaching 1 billion, this is time of bumper harvest in smart mobile telephony in India. Indians are consuming, creating and sharing content, buying products, and gaming through their phones. Smartphones, with internet connection, have come from being a style statement to life necessity, one of the things you cannot live without.

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As the number of mobile subscribers in India is almost reaching 1 billion, this is time of bumper harvest in smart mobile telephony in India. Indians are consuming, creating and sharing content, buying products, and gaming through their phones. Smartphones, with internet connection, have come from being a style statement to life necessity, one of the things you cannot live without.

If one looks at the share of webpages browsed through different devices, then desktops and laptops constitute major chunk with 66 per cent of users while 33 per cent of users are using mobile to access internet. Rest 1 per cent is for tablets. But devil is in fine print. The year-on-year comparison shows that the bigger machines usage has declined 6 per cent, while smart phones traffic increased 17 per cent. Average Indian user spends more time on internet as compared to global peers, 4 hour 48 mins hours. More than half time is spent on social media, 2 hour 36 minutes. Now TV has taken backseat with 2 hour 4 mins. This data is only applicable to 10 per cent Indians who are currently active on social media.

A very interesting concept, 'second screen,' has gained acceptance. Here although TV is switched on, but it does not have full attention of the viewer. He might be surfing social media or chatting, while half watching TV. Since mobile phones are easy to carry around, TV like PC is also facing issue of becoming 'endangered species.' With most of the telecasts easily available online and high internet speed, is there really need for having TV.

Almost everyone who connects to internet using mobile, does it to access Instant Messaging (IM) apps. Facebook and Whatsapp dominate this space with Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn having limited fan following. Likes of Instagram, Wechat and Pinterest lag far behind. It might surprise many that social media is not most popular activity for Indians. The top place goes to online videos. Since many consume videos on social media apps, so there is overlap here. That's the reason why more video content is consumed on mobile through apps like Facebook and WhatsApp than YouTube. Gaming apps are another major attraction of mobile users. They are only slightly behind social media. Because of their addictive nature, people across age group are hooked to them. One might think that online shopping might be another significant contributor given the buzz around e-commerce these days but trends suggest that its presence on mobile is still restricted. What is interesting to note is that comparison shopping is becoming a big thing over the mobile devices. People compare products across different online and offline vendors, read reviews, check discounts, etc.

As the penetration further increases, the amount of content that is consumed on mobile will also depend on availability of vernacular content. Most online players have realized the potential of Hindi and other regional languages in expanding their reach and engaging more people. If content is in local language, then people spend almost 30 per cent more time in consuming. Accessing regional content is not restricted to rural parts of the country. More than 60 per cent urban users access online content in Hindi. This is followed by Tamil and Marathi. Regional language websites are growing at a 56 per cent YoY compared to 11 per cent for English sites.

Today, the consumption of content on mobile is more entertainment centric but there is a visible shift. Lot of young students have started using it as a tool for studying and learning. Approximately 60 per cent of traffic to education centric websites and blogs is through mobile. And Content is consumed in small packets and on the go. Increasing smartphone and mobile penetration will take this to semi-urban and rural areas where significant chunk of population is deprived of quality content and learning methodologies. India has often been called place where mobile phones have changed life of billion people. But real mobile revolution is yet to come.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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Manesh Jain

The author, Manesh Jain, is co-founder of MockBank, an ed-tech company that provides online coaching for public sector jobs. A learning enthusiast and entrepreneur at heart, Manesh closely follows technology trends and impact that they have on education sector in specific and society at large.

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