India has leapfrogged Japan to become the world's third biggest Internet population, growing 31 percent from the year before to 73.9 million users.
This puts the country just behind global leader China with 348.2 million users, and the United States with 191.4 million users, according to a ComScore study India Digital Future in Focus 2013 released on Thursday. India's online population growth was only second to Brazil, which posted a 37 percent increase to 62.1 million.
"With an extended online universe in excess of 145 million the market is at a tipping point for online businesses," said the report. The extended universe includes PCs accessed from Internet cafes and mobile devices accessing the Internet.
Other key highlights:
- Among the fastest growing categories in India were apparel, which led with an 85 percent increase to 13.4 million unique visitors. This was followed by comparision shopping which rose 52 percent to 11.1 million unique visitors. Notably, blog vistors expanded by nearly half to 35.9 million.
- Three quarters of India's online population was under 35, with males in that segment among the heaviest users along with women aged 35 to 44 years old.
- 54 million internet users in India watched online videos on their computer, representing a 27 percent increase over the past year.
As of March 2013, Asia-Pacific had a total of 644 million home and work Internet users. China accounted for more than half at 54 percent, followed by India (11.5 percent), Japan (11.4 percent), and Southeast Asia (9.6 percent).