Indians use their mobile phones most for social communication and entertainment. The average mobile internet user in India spends almost 70% of the time on apps like Facebook and WhatsApp, and music and entertainment apps. This is much more than by people in the US, who visit these apps for only 50% of the time they spend on the mobile phone, a report released by investment firm Omidyar Network claims. Americans spend a good amount of time also on news, commerce and gaming.

On an average, a user in India spends 200 minutes a day on mobile apps, lower than the US average of 300 minutes a day. Of the 70% of the time Indians are employed on social and entertainment, 38% is spent only on social media giant Facebook and its family of apps – Whatsapp, and Instagram. This dominance of the Facebook family in India is far greater than in the US, where their usage is only 18% of a user’s time.

ShareChat is one app which is doing well in India, with 8 million downloads,” it allows users to share videos, jokes, GIFs, audio songs and funny images from India in Indian languages. The Omidyar Network report, done with the objective of determining how to get the next half billion Indian internet users, was put together based on data gathered from Indus OS, analytics company ComScore, Facebook, and net Market Share. Indus OS is a vernacular operating system which has 7 million users in India. The analysis was done on more than 3 lakh Indians distributed across metros, and tier 1, 2, 3 towns and beyond during the period April-June 2017.

The report noted that the next half billion of internet users would come from all districts of the country. Women are seen to be a key segment to gain. Currently, women are 36% less likely to own a mobile phone, and women comprise only 35% of mobile internet users and 25% of Facebook users. Reticence in using the internet by women, lack of confidence to transact online, and lack of indigenous apps for social media and communication are seen to be the key challenges that entrepreneurs will face to capture the next segment of internet users in IndiEconomic times


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