ShareChat decodes India’s Next Billion Internet Users

ShareChat, India’s leading social media platform, today released a report titled ‘Understanding India’s Next Billion Internet Users’, with Nielsen India as its ‘Knowledge Partner’. Nielsen India has carried out primary research to understand the overall social media usage, consumption and online behaviour. The study was conducted with 3,788 respondents across 81 cities in India, with 40% of respondents coming from Tier 2 and 3 cities.

According to the findings of the report, which sought to understand the behaviour and profile of English (India) and native language (Bharat) social media users, 78% of Bharat engages in social media activity like watch/ upload/ create content during their leisure time. 73% of internet users sign into social networking platforms everyday and they are most active between 7 pm and 11 pm. The study discovered that these users spend over 5 hours a week, signing in atleast 3 times everyday. Videos remain their most preferred format, and users spend upto 2 minutes on every video. 49% of users post content daily, images being the highest uploaded format closely followed by videos.

Entertainment and Networking are the major determinants for people to hop on social media platforms. The study also found that messaging, banking and payment, delivery, and online shopping are the top 4 Digital Apps used by at least half of all social media users. 

Speaking on the findings, Satyajit Deb Roy, Director - Sales, ShareChat said, “The intention of this study was to nail down key parameters where user behaviour diverged between India and Bharat. Interestingly, the findings have indicated a paradigm shift in the online consumption behavior among ‘Bharat’ audiences and highlighted how Bharat internet users have evolved into a mature internet audience, though they prefer to interact in their native language. Moreover, the report has also suggested that the Bharat users have a higher spending propensity, are comfortable shopping online, and are equally well-versed with investment.”

Where do people spend?

The report highlighted the fact that nearly 100% of households among the respondents interviewed had a colour television at home. On the other hand, more metro users owned air conditioners, sofa sets, Water Purifiers, Smart/ Android TVs, while more users from Bharat preferred air coolers. 

The most interesting insight, however, when it came to consumer durable ownership was that small town and rural India had as many buyers for washing machines and D2H as urban India, with 67% of respondents saying that they had a washing machine at home. 

Another set of interesting insights emerged from surveying their buying and spending habits. While urban India is more aggressive when it comes to buying clothes, consumer durable goods and cosmetics, Bharat spends significantly higher on expensive watches, perfumes, bags, shoes, etc. Small town India also spends more on home furnishing, gym, club, sports arena membership as compared to India. Clothing and Travelling emerged as the Top 2 categories that users spend on mostly. 

Clothes are the top spending category in Metros (Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai fall among the higher spenders) Delhi, Bihar, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, and Maharashtra are the states that spend more on clothes. Besides this, both Bharat and India are shopping online more and more, and fashion, mobile phones, non-electronic devices, and media emerged as the leading categories which users bought online. 

The findings have also shown that Bharat users are spending more on travelling and expensive lifestyle goods, while being an almost equal spender on Clothing, Gadgets and Consumer Goods. Moreover, Bharat users are more prone towards investments, scoring more than the Indian users in every category. Savings Account and Life Insurance are considered among the top 2 investment instruments by both Bharat and India users.

Phone and data

Data plans have become cheaper across the network, and hence 9 out of 10 use mobile networks to access the internet most of the time. Reliance’s telecom offering, Reliance Jio emerged as the network of choice of Bharat given its affordable data plans. 

What’s more, most of the regional geographies of the country are brand conscious, with Xiaomi and Samsung turning out to be the brand of choice for the majority. 

Link to the report:

Research Methodology

The study entails the following approach to identify in-depth understanding of the social media usage & consumption and behaviour.

Primary Search Methodology: Primary research was undertaken by Nielsen India to cover the overall social media usage & consumption and online behaviour. The study is based on 3788 online survey conducted across 81 cities in India to understand the proportion of the population who post / consumed contents in social network at least once a week. 

Respondent are 18+ (minimum criteria to use social network) who posted / consumed contents in social network at least once a week

Gender: 71% of respondents are being male, while 29% are female

NCCS:71% respondents come from NCCS A, while 29% are from NCCS B

Geography: 20% respondents belong from metros, 40% from Tier I cities, and remaining 40% from Tier 2 and 3 citie


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