The founder of Facebook might be facing the death penalty in Pakistan but social media growth is showing no sign of slowing down in India. In fact, it is displaying some of the fastest social networking growth on the planet.
According to a comScore report on Social Networking Sites in India , published today, the Indian social networking audience has risen by an astonishing 43 percent in the last year.
In the month of July alone, some 33 million Internet users over the age of 15 visited social networking sites in India according to comScore measurements, and that represents some 84 percent of the total Internet audience. This places India as the seventh largest social networking market worldwide. The really interesting number to pull out of the comScore figures is not that 43 percenter, but rather that it equates to more than triple the rate of growth of the total Internet audience in India.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Facebook would appear to be the main beneficiary of this India social media growth, seeing a rise of 12 percent from June to July to capture the most visited of social networking spots for the first time with some 20.9 million visitors. To put that growth into some perspective, it represents an increase of 179 percent versus a year ago. But that's where the similarity to other global markets stops though, with 19.9 million Indians visiting Orkut to put it in second place followed by BharatStudent with 4.4 million visitors.
Don't think that Twitter is forgotten in India, as it isn't. It showed the highest rate of growth among the top five social networking sites according to the comScore report with an increase of 239 percent to 3.3 million visitors. Yahoo! also did well, being the owner of two of the top ten social networking properties: Yahoo! Pulse (3.5 million visitors) and Yahoo! Buzz (1.8 million visitors).
"The social networking phenomenon continues to gain steam worldwide, and India represents one of the fastest growing markets at the moment" said Will Hodgman, comScore executive vice president for the Asia-Pacific region. "Though Facebook has tripled its audience in the past year to pace the growth for the category, several other social networking sites have posted their own sizeable gains".