According to Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the number of social media users will grow to 66 million by June this year. Young men and college-going students formed the largest user base of social networking, accounting to 84% of active internet users, or 20.3 million.
Being 'social on the net' has spread beyond cities as well. Though top eight metros constitute more than a third of the entire user base, 66% belong to other smaller cities in urban India.
“Quite notably, almost a quarter (24%) of all social networking users in India belong to small towns that have populations less than two lakhs, while another 11% are from towns that have populations between two and five lakhs,” IAMAI said.
Mobile internet use as well growth in smartphones is the reason behind high social networking. Active mobile internet base is at 39.7 million, accounting to almost 50% of the active Internet base.
“Social media usage ranks only after e-mail (80%) in terms of usage. Essentially, social networking often serves to be among the 'first Internet uses' of Internet in India i.e, besides the usual reasons like e-mail, music and gaming,” IAMAI said, in its report. As per a survey by IAMAI, 33% respondents said that social networking is a main Internet activity as compared to 32% mentioned for e-mail.