Facebook is growing fast as challenger to Google in India, online Indians at 65 million: Juxt

Emailing continues to be the most popular online activity even as Facebook is fast emerging as a strong competitor to Google in India’s online landscape, according to the 2011 online survey by mobile and online research firm Juxt Consult.

While 95% of India’s online population use email, it is followed closely by product search (with 76% use), information search (74%), music download (69%), job search 62% and social networking (61%).(see chart.)

Surprisingly, search was the fastest growing activity, growing at nearly 3 to 4 times the speed of social networking (which is now a Facebook affair) [see purple chart below.]

Not surprisingly, Google is the most popular online platform. It led in 19 distinct areas (down from 24 last year), while Facebook led in 6 areas, mostly around social networking.

For example, 92% of those who use email in India have a Gmail account and for 61% of the total email users in India, Gmail is the most used one (see charts.)

Similarly 51% of those who use instant messaging (chat) use Gmail (Google) chat as their first preference.

Naukri is the first preference job portal for 57% of those who search for jobs and nearly 78% use it.

61% of online news consumers use Google News, but the service is the most preferred source for news only for 32% (with the remaining going straight to newspaper websites etc..)

IRCTC dominates the online travel market, Facebook dominates online games, Sharekhan rules online share trading, ICICI Bank is number 1 in online banking and Way2SMS leads in PC to Mobile SMSing (see chart.)

Interestingly, Facebook leads in social networking, “friendship”, dating and picture sharing, while Youtube is still the number 1 site for most people for listening to music, video viewing, sharing and upload.

A (seemingly) Pakistani site is the number one source for downloading music (songsPK). Bharatmatrimony, the king of wedding classifieds, is the most used choice for 56% of those seeking their mates online.

Not surpirsingly, Google has a nearly unassailable lead in Maps, with 85% of people marking it as their first choice for such information.

Train ticket was the item that most people have bought online, with 83% of those saying they have bought anything online, saying they have bought a train ticket.

It was followed by Air ticket and Mobile phones (58% and 56%, see chart).

Most of India’s Internet users are between the ages of 25-35, with only 24% aged 36 or above.

Overall, there was some not so great news also. Compared to estimates such as 100 million (10 crore and upwards) frequently bandied about, India has only around 65 million Internet users or about 5.4% of the population, according to Juxt.

The silver lining is that the number has grown by 28% in the year-ended June — with similar growth for both urban and rural areas.

In comparison, South Korea has a broadband penetration level of 95%, Sweden has 76% and Japan, 75%.

Out of 65 million (6.5 crore) Internet users in India, around 80% log on to the Internet daily, Juxt added. Half of all ‘home based’ net users spend more than two hours a day online.

Nearly 50 million of the total 65 million Internet users are in urban areas. They grew at by 9.4 million in one year. The remaining 16 million users are from the rural areas, up by 4.7 million.

However, at a household level, the penetration levels are higher (The individual penetration is lower because everyone in house does not use the Internet (unlike a phone) and because urban households tend to have fewer members.)

Internet is available in 11.3% of all Indian households, with 13% urban homes connected and only 2% or rural homes have Internet connectivity in India.

Only one fourth of the users, or 14.4 million, access the Internet from their phones. 20% of the mobile internet users (3% of total), do not or cannot access the Internet from a computer.


India’s mobile penetration is only half of official numbers, mobile Internet at just 14.4 m: Juxt survey