Social media continued to grow, reach 90+ Million by End of Year; may become game changer for election 2014

SocialMediaSitesA recent report by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International, says that number of social media users by December 2013 will be 91 Mn, showing an overall growth of 17 per cent since June 2013.

Considering there are only 160 Mn Internet users in a country with a population of over 1.23 Billion, 91 Mn makes up less than 8% of the total population. However this figure should not be underestimated, as according to the report  there could be a vote swing of 3%-4% in elections in the 24 states – states where the internet users are sizeable.

According to the report, political parties of the country have earmarked around 2%-5% of their election budgets for social media.Thus, implying how social media is even influencing the running of the country.

Also, the reports states that  highest proportion of social media usage in the Top 4 Metros & the Non Metros was among the demographic segment “Young Men” with 30% and 26% penetration levels respectively. But there is a rise in the number of young female users too. However a majority of the social networking users, as expected, is in the urban areas.

Even though not all Internet users are using sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. these websites are still a hot target for businesses to sell their products.The report mentions that the corporates are spending nearly 13% of their digital advertising budget on social media in FY2012-2013. It was only 10% in FY2011-12

It should be noted that this rise in social media users could be attributed to the increase in the sale of internet enabled phones. 19.8 Mn users use mobile phones to access social media platforms in urban India, as per the report. People are more connected now, but at the same time there is a visible disparity between the Internet penetration in rural and urban areas. Can this be an indication of how slowly our ‘developing nation’ is actually developing. Write your thoughts in the comments.

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