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SciTech Social Media Becoming Popular In India: Report


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Social Media becoming popular in India: report

Lalit K Jha

Washington, Feb 25 (PTI) Although the use of social media by Indians was first highlighted during the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, social media tools is being effectively used by a cross section of society in India, says a report of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI).

"The Indian social media scene represents a fast-emerging and influential domain of information exchange involving nearly 60 per cent of the 83 million Internet users in the country," said the DNI report titled, "Overview of Leading Indian Social Media" .

"While Facebook and Orkut continue to dominate the social media scene, Twitter and some other Indian micro blogging websites are also becoming very popular.

The rising significance of social media in India is demonstrated by the fact that almost all the conventional media have registered their presence on the social networking websites," the report said.

According to DNI, which has based its report on open source information, in a recent instance, pressure from social media appeared to force conventional media to report on the alleged links between some noted journalists and a lobbyist.

"The lobbyist is being investigated for her role in an alleged telecommunications spectrum allocation scandal, over which IT and Communications Minister A Raja had to resign.

While the conventional media were accused of overlooking the story, Twitterati kept on building pressure for media discussion, making it virtually impossible for conventional media to ignore," it said.

According to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India data, there are 83 million Internet users in India and more than 56 per cent of them are on broadband.
A large number of users also access social media through mobile phones.
According to a report, the number of mobile social network users in India is expected to reach around 72 million by 2014.

This would be driven by the reduced cost of smart phones and the launch of 3G services, which will enhance the consumer experience Various surveys show social media reach 60 per cent of the online audience in India.

ViziSense, an online audience measurement service, recently reported that Facebook has the highest reach, with 22.1 million people accessing Facebook in July, followed by Google''s Orkut with 18.5 million.

Together, they cater to 90 per cent of the users of social media sites.
However, there is a worrying trend too, as the report notes that social media is also being used by separatist outfits from Kashmir to those on the North East.

DNI said since January 2008 it has observed a marked increase in pro-separatist material and propaganda on social networking websites.

During the 2008 Mumbai terror strikes, Twitter and Flickr became the media through which much information about the attacks reached Indians and the outside world

Northeast rebels have reportedly used Orkut and YouTube for hate campaigns against the government.

Remnants of Sikh separatist groups have been observed to have Khalistan pages on Facebook and photo streams on Flickr.




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