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Google India: Mobile overtakes desktop

News, 25 August 2015

MUMBAI: Search queries on Google that come from mobile devices in India have now surpassed desktop queries, the internet giant's country marketing director has revealed.

Although Sandeep Menon did not disclose the exact figure, he confirmed that mobile search is now "more than 50%", up from less than 25% in the second half of 2013. The share of mobile and desktop was equal last year, Business Standard reported.

Menon attributed the rapid growth of mobile queries in India to the sheer number of new mobile internet users going online each month, which Google estimates at about six million.

With rival Facebook having already reported that its mobile traffic in India was higher than traffic from desktop, there will be implications for advertisers, said Hareesh Tibrewala, joint CEO of digital ad firm Social Wavelength.

"It means advertisers have to come up with more content for mobiles too as the advertisement spending is expected to go up," he said.

As the trend to mobile gathers momentum, Google also aims to win over new and existing Indian customers with a range of new features that it showcased at its Google House event at the end of last week.

For example, Google has been developing a voice search function that does not require users to type out their request and it has been optimised for English in a Hindi accent as well as in Hindi.

Also on display was a new instant translation feature in Google Translate that was launched recently in Hindi. Users can receive instant translations by opening the app and then pointing their device at text.

Google India also announced at the event that its YouTube subsidiary has partnered with Whistling Woods International, the renowned film school, to set up a new YouTube Space in Mumbai.

Data sourced from Business Standard, Udaipur Kiran; additional content by Warc staff