This is a couple of months old now, but according to a report by ComScore, India now is the second largest online population in the Asia Pacific region, with 11.4% of the 644 million Internet users in Asia Pacific in 2013, as compared to 9.3% share of the 604 million internet users in 2012. Worldwide, India has now overtaken Japan to become third largest country with online population. It now has 73.9 million Internet users, adding 17.6 million users YoY. This is, of course, significantly different from the 100-150 million users figure that Google has put out, and also contradicts the 82 million monthly active users for India that Facebook says it had in August. ComScore notes that the report utilises data from the comScore suite of products, which includes MMX Multi-Platform, comScore qSearch, comScore video metrix, comScore MobiLens, and comScore Device Essentials.

Demographics: 

– Interestingly, India’s online population is significantly younger when compared with other BRIC nations with 75% falling under the age of 35. Breaking it down further, 36% of India’s online population are between 15-24 year age group, 39% are between 25-34 year, 16% are between 35-44 year, 6% are between 45-54 year, and 3% are between 55-64 years.

– As expected, females comprise only 39% of the Indian Internet population. Besides this, they also spend less time online than men. Average time spent online by female is about 10.8 hours per visit, whereas for men it is 12.7 hours. Breaking these segments age wise, females falling in the age group of 35-44 years are the heaviest Internet users. Among men, 25-34 year-olds are the heaviest Internet users.

– Mobile traffic: Traffic growth from mobile and tablets grew to 14.2%. That said, 23% of the mobile Internet users accessed websites from their cellular network, whereas 77% used WiFi connection. Mobile Internet users preferred to access services such as weather and car rental on their handset, while people still prefer to access blogs, entertainment and music on desktop.

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When compared to other BRIC nations, Indian Internet users prefer to spend more time on social networking sites. Time spent on services (Email, IMs, etc) by Indian Internet users is 23%, on social networking sites is 25%, on entertainment is 11%, among others.

Speaking of social networks, Facebook continues to be the number one social network with 28% increase in traffic and a reach of 86%. Surprisingly, LinkedIn stands second, followed by Twitter. Also note that 59.6 million Indian users accessed Facebook on their desktop. 

 – Top Web Properties: Top web properties in India include — Google sites, Facebook, Yahoo sites, Microsoft sites, Wikimedia foundation sites, Times Internet sites, BitTorrent Network, Network 18, Ask network, Rediff.com India Ltd.

– Online retail appears to be an underdeveloped segment in India. While there is 60.3% reach in retail category, average time spent on retail category is only 28.4 minutes. This is far less than other countries: for Brazil it’s 59.5 mins, Russia it’s 36.9 mins, China it’s 168.2 mins, where as worldwide it is 84.3 mins. While online retailer Myntra.com shows highest growth, Flipkart leads the category for highest per user engagement. Largest retail subcategories include apparel, computer, electronics sites and comparison shopping sites.

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– When it comes to online videos, YouTube is the number one destination for videos with 31.5 million views. According to the report 54 million Indian Internet users watched online videos on their PCs, up by 27% YoY. YouTube is followed by Facebook, Yahoo sites, dailymotion, viacom digital, VEVO, among others. Times Internet Limited is the only local video destination to be featured in the top 10 list for video destinations.

– Indian Internet users spend an average of 33.5 mins on news and information, which is far less than global average of 69.7 mins. Times of India tops the chart for news information destination followed by Yahoo, HT Media, India.com sites, About, among others.

– Travel: Time spent on travel category is far more higher than any other BRIC nations and global average. Indian Internet users spend an average of 26.7 mins on travel categories, whereas global average is 25.6 mins. This could probably be because of the failed transactions and sluggish Indian railways sites. That said, Indian railways received highest unique visitors and highest time spent on a site in travel category. Indian railways sites is followed by Makemytrip, Yatra, Trip Advisor, Cleartrip, among others.

– Real Estate: Average time spent on real estate sites by Indian Internet users is 16.9 mins, whereas global average is 27.8 mins. This however is in line with the average time spent by users in BRIC Nations.Magicbricks.com tops the chart in terms of unique visitors and average time spent on a real estate site. Magicbricks.com is followed by 99acres.com, commonfloor.com, Indiaproperty.com, among others. Almost 10-23% of users on real estate sites are from outside of India, indicating interest in investment or vacation property.

– Average time spent by Indian online users (29.6 mins) on sports sites is still below global average (55.1 min).

– Google takes up 90% of the online searches, followed by Yahoo, Ask network, Facebook, among others. 6.4 billion searches were performed by 67.5 million unique Indian searchers. On an average Indians spent 33.5 mins on search engines.