Social Media and Social Networking

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India – Hot Market for Social Networking

Posted by Vaibhav Kalamdani on February 18, 2009

It is really interesting to see how social networks have changed users’ perception and habits towards online communication. It all started with small communities, which slowly and steadily expanded over a period of years and ballooned into a full-fledged global interaction space for people to get connected to each other.

Just like American and European markets have shown a healthy response towards this growing trend, Asian markets have come out as a surprise package, generating one of the greatest demands for social networking industry. The Asia-Pacific region is mostly dominated by Friendster, but when it comes to the Indian sub-continent region specifically, it is Orkut which catches maximum attention, based on a report released by comScore, a leading statistics provider of the digital world.

India has emerged as a great potential market for social networking. Social networks registered an astounding growth of 51% from the last year in terms of user visits, with 19 million visitors in December 2008. As per the study conducted by comScore, it was also found that global social networking brands continued to enjoy superior position and traffic in India during the year, with Orkut leading from the front. Others in the list include Facebook, hi5, LinkedIn and MySpace.

social-networking-statistics

From the above statistics, it can be seen that Orkut clearly won the social networking race in India, with over 12.8 million unique visitors in December 2008 and 81% growth over the previous year. In fact, it won the race comprehensively, as second rank holder ‘Facebook’ managed to capture just about one-third of the traffic (around 4 million unqiue visitors), when compared to Orkut. However, it grew at a much higher rate with 150% growth over the previous year.

Facebook was immediately followed by local social network Bharatstudent.com with 3.3 million unique visitors, registering 88% growth, while fourth-ranker ‘hi5’ (2 million unique visitors) registered the highest growth rate of 182% year-on-year.

Singapore Records Highest Social Networking Growth in Asia-Pacific:

In its study on Asia-Pacific region, comScore found that several countries with the highest reach in social networking also showed the highest level of site engagement. As far as social networking penetration is concerned, Singapore led the region, with over 74.3% of its Internet population accessing a social network in December 2008.

Amongst others were Australia (68.3%), South Korea (68.0%) and Malaysia (66.6%), which showed impressive penetration and engagement of social networking in the region. India, however, lagged behind with 60.3% penetration, but ahead of Japan (50.9%), China (45.6%) and Taiwan (42.4%).

Need For Localization Strategy:

Surviving in the Indian market is going to be difficult for the social networks due to high level of competition and existence of several local players. A localization strategy would play an active role, with social networking players needing to adapt to the highly rich culture of the nation.

Majority of the Asia-Pacific region is controlled by Friendster, thereby posing the biggest threat for the likes of Facebook, MySpace and other huge social networking brands. One of the key reasons why Friendster is successful in the region is due to its localization strategy of offering services in languages as per the territory.

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One Response to “India – Hot Market for Social Networking”

  1. There is one more popular site India-Friends.com

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