How do Indians spend time on the Internet

Studies from Microsoft India and Nielsen provide insights into what Indians do on the Internet and how they spend their time.

Knowing what people do when they are online is crucial for businesses. A study by Nielsen looks into what Indians do on social media websites and Microsoft India provides insights into how Indians spend their time on the Internet.

A few weeks back, Nielsen came out with a report claiming that Indians spend more time on social media sites than on personal email. Honestly, I am not surprised. Email, though a form of communication, is not social nor is it real time. Sharing images on a social network like Facebook is a different experience than sending out bulk emails to friends and family. Secondly, social networks have real time (constantly updating) feeds from friends that you can go through, emails don't. In my opinion, it isn't a fair comparison. The study also looks into the relevance of brands on these social media sites and their impact. The purpose of the study seems to be to understand what users do on social networking websites. This data can be helpful to companies and brands enabling them to tailor their interactions with users. Here are some highlights from the Nielsen study:

  • 30 Million Indians who have Internet access are members of social media websites
  • Around 20 Million of these users access these websites daily
  • Nearly 40 Million Indians refer to online reviews for products they intend to buy
  • 46% of the users track their ex-partners
  • 81% share or view pictures
  • 72% users expect companies to offer discounts on brands
  • 60% users want updates on new products

The second study was done by Microsoft India and has a beautiful infograph titled Living With The Internet. The Microsoft study is more specific on how the Indians use the Internet. Highlights from the study:

  • 72% Indians plan their time spent on the Internet (globally, 79% users do that)
  • 34% Indians user smartphones to access information as their main device while 33% use notebooks
  • Entertainment and (monetary?) transactions are done primarily using a notebook
  • 49% users use the Internet for communication
  • 14% create content and 35% seek information
  • 22% use the Internet for entertainment (audio, video, games)
  • 12% for transactions

The study has some intriguing insight into user activity based on their mood. As detailed in their infograph, the study claims:

  • A frustrated user is more likely to look for entertainment and transactions
  • In a bad mood, a user will be creating content or performing a transaction
  • A bored user will be surfing the web and looking for entertainment

The infograph from Microsoft India: