India is set to become the second-largest nation of Internet users, overtaking the United States.
By December there will be 402 million Internet users in India, second only to China’s 600 million users in terms of the largest online user base in the world. The number of Internet users is growing rapidly in India, and is up from 375 million at the end of October.
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Survey reveals Internet usage trends in India
The data was compiled from 35 cities across the country by the Internet and Mobile Association of India and market research firm IMRB International. “While Internet in India took more than a decade to move from 10 million to 100 million and 3 years from 100 to 200 million, it took only a year to move from 300 to 400 million users,” the report said.
Among the salient points of the survey is the fact that 2015 has been a year of rapid growth for the Internet user base in India, increasing by 49% year-on-year. By June 2016 there are expected to be 462 million Internet users in the country.
Interestingly the majority of existing users access the internet on their smartphones. 76% of people use a mobile device to access the internet, and the increase is down to the growing prevalence of mobile phones.
Huge potential for further growth of Internet user base in India
By December this year the survey says 306 million users will access the internet in this way. Two-thirds of those who do not currently use the Internet claim that they will use a mobile device to do so in the future.
Of those who currently access the internet, more are doing so on a daily basis with over 69% of users going online at least once per day in October this year. There is also some evidence of a gender gap in Indian internet usage. Approximately 71% of users are male and 29% female.
In urban areas this gap closes slightly, 62% male compared to 38% female, but in rural areas almost 88% of users are male compared to only 12% female.
Although India is about to become the second-largest Internet user base on the planet, the fact is that only a third of Indians are online. There is a huge amount of potential in India, which is one reason why Facebook is giving such a focus to the country.