Social Networking Predominantly On Mobile
When looking at the market shares of leading social networks, India demonstrates a similar pattern as the rest of the world. As of June 2015, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter are the top three social platforms respectively. However, as a developing country that has only 19% Internet coverage, India surprisingly sees a vast majority of social media usage happening on mobile. According to IdeateLabs referencing data from The Wall Street Journal, only 10% Facebook traffic and 14% Twitter traffic are from desktop.
The mobile-first behavior of Indian social media users explains why mobile-based social apps such as Instagram and Snapchat are quickly catching up. According to the latest data by We Are Social and Global Web Index, the market penetration of Instagram and Snapchat is 19% and 11% respectively. Additionally, live-streaming mobile apps such as Periscope and Meerkat are also taking off in India. So much so that the trend has spawned a couple of homegrown live video apps such as #Fame.
Brand-Loving Social Media Users
Indian people are very generous when it comes to expressing their love for brands on social media. According to research done by IdeateLabs, Facebook fan pages of Indian brands are shared four times more and generate 3.5 times more engagement than the global average. In fact, Indian social media users not only over-index on their sharing behaviors, but also their brand advocacy activities.
According to a study done by Social@Ogilvy, a third of Indian social media users are “true brand promoters” while the worldwide average is only 19%. As defined by the agency, “true brand promoters” are people who go beyond sharing or retweeting brands’ social media posts just because they like the content; they intentionally follow brands in the first place to speak directly to them. Moreover, “true brand promoters” are constantly on the lookout for product information on social and their purchase decisions are much more likely to be influenced by brand mentions within their social circles.
The Exotic Social Influencer Scene
Globally speaking, celebrities are riding social media waves and their choice of platforms can often point to the next hottest social apps. Bollywood stars are no exception. In the case of Periscope, Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan spurred its growth by being the first celebrity to use the app where fans take sneak peeks at his film shooting sets. Sensing the tremendous value of celebrities in helping social networks thrive, many tech startups in India have developed social apps exclusively for public figures to interact with their fans. For instance, Frankly.Me allows you to pose questions to celebrities who respond by creating video selfies.
When it comes to non-celebrity social media influencers who are wildly popular, Indian Instagrammers are definitely worth checking out. In fact, CNN has reported that India is the fourth largest market for the image-sharing app. Apart from fashion shots, creative flat-lays and travel photography, Indian Instagram influencers also share with the world some of the most rarely-seen moments of Indian lifestyle and culture.