Earlier this year, the influential Mary Meeker report in its annual assessment of the Internet economy highlighted that 65% of Indian Internet traffic is dominated by mobile. The report also stated that India with 232 million Internet users – a 37% year-on-year growth happens to be the third largest market. India also happens to be the top country in adding new Internet users per year, it added more than 63 million in 2014. Mobile is the primary reason for driving the new internet users dominated mostly by Tier 2 and 3 cities.
In a latest report, the search giant Google said search queries from mobile devices from India was now more than desktop driven queries, up from less than 25 per cent in the second half of 2013, because of affordable smartphones and data prices. “We do not disclose exact numbers (of mobile-desktop split), but mobile is more than 50 percent,” said Sandeep Menon, India marketing director for Google. The share of mobile and desktop search was equal last year, but this year, it had exceeded, he added.
Google said the surge in mobile queries in India was supported by strong smartphone sales, estimated at close to six million every month. Internet users in the country have been calculated at 350 million by the first half of 2015, of which 65 per cent use mobile to access internet.
This shift had to happen specially after Google made it clear that it is going to give preference to responsive websites. In April this year, the search giant introduced a move described as ‘Mobilegeddon‘ - a change that meant websites that are not mobile friendly will drop down in search rankings.
The strong growth on mobile for Google is also an indication that users prefer to search, consume content, while on the move. This June, Outbrain reported that a staggering 76 percent of the overall content consumed on smartphones is consumed on an Android device in India – second only to Malaysia.
Looking at engagement on mobile devices, the report also highlighted that India is the most engaged market when it comes to consumption on tablets, overtaking even the US. It is also one of the most engaged markets for consumption on smartphones, along with Japan.
This is a good news for Google at a time when Facebook - also a mobile first company - is ruling when it comes to mobile on both counts - user growth and monetization. In the recent earnings report announcement Facebook revealed mobile active users were 1.31 billion, up 23 percent. Daily mobile users were 844 million, a 29 percent increase, and mobile-only monthly users were 655 million. Total monthly active users were just under 1.5 billion, which was up 13 percent year over year.
In India, Facebook now has more than 125 million monthly users, its second largest market after US. “In India, Facebook has 125 million average users (MAU), while the number of mobile MAUs stands at 114 million. On a daily basis, 59 million users in India are accessing Facebook and 53 million are accessing us from their mobile phones,” Facebook head of Products (Facebook Lite) Vijay Shankar told PTI.