Fifth of online Indians are heavy users

26 September 2014

NEW DELHI: Half of India's internet users are online at least 15 days every month and one fifth go online almost every day, new data has revealed.

The Internet Consumption Trends report, published jointly by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB-WAM, and reported by Thinking Aloud, was based on data captured from a sample of 98.7m urban internet users over the age of 15.

During August 2014, over one third of internet users were classified as 'heavy users': 20% logged in more than 25 days a month and a further 18% did so between 20 and 24 days.

Some 12% were identified as 'medium users', being online between 16 and 19 days in the month, while 16% were 'low users' at 10 to 15 days and 5% 'occasional users' at 8 to 9 days.

Across all demographics, more people went online on weekdays than on weekends, an indication that more people are using the internet for work purposes, or, possibly, for personal purposes while at work.

Usage generally peaked in mid-afternoon, although for younger consumers and lower income groups usage tended to be greatest at lunchtime. And the average time spent online each month was more or less the same across all groups at something over 1,500 minutes.

Among the top online activities were search, email/messaging, social networks and online videos, and a significant gender gap was evident across all of these. Thus, for example, of those putting search as their top activity, 60% were male compared to 34% female. A similar pattern emerged for email (54% v 31%), social networks (54% v 30%) and online video (49% v 27%).

But that picture may be starting to change, according to Rajan Anandan, vp/Google India. "For the first time in India, the growth rate of women Internet users in urban India has exceeded men in the last one year," he told the Times of India. "We need to build on this."

Google has teamed up with MARD – a social initiative described by its founder, actor Farhan Akhtar, as a progressive movement for a more gender-equal world – to encourage more women to learn to use the internet and to democratise access to information.

A social campaign called #ReachForTheSky hopes to bring 50m women online with help from existing internet users.

Data sourced from Thinking Aloud, Times of India; additional content by Warc staff