Rural India has shown considerable growth when it comes to India’s internet usage. This also suggests a change in the consumption pattern among internet users in India. There has been a remarkable rise in internet usage especially in the rural areas of India.
The reason being that there is now an abundance of cheap data plans and also access to many such affordable services which are facilitated by the internet. IAMAI’s latest report states that there were 227 million active internet users in rural areas out of a total of 504 in India.
The ‘Digital in India’ report by the IAMAI revealed that in rural areas there is an overall 10 per cent more consumption compared to around 205 million users in the urban areas.
The report has shown that in rural India, the number of people who access the internet on a daily basis has gone up by 30 million since last year.
The time spent on the internet is higher in an urban area compared to that of rural areas. Almost 70% of the active internet users in India are daily users and about nine out of ten in urban India access it at least once a week.
Internet users in the rural areas of the country have exceeded the number of urban users for the very first time. Active internet users are those who access or need the internet at least once a month.
India is also the second-largest user of the internet right after China. India has 504 million active users of the internet who are above 5 years of age. China, on the other hand, has about 850 million users and the US has 280-300 million users.
The device which is used the maximum to browse the internet in both urban and rural areas is a mobile phone. Also, one-third of the users access the internet for more than an hour on Sundays and other days of holiday as compared to a weekday.
The report also has shown another important aspect of the consumption behaviour of users – female users spend more time on the internet than male users. 26 million new female members started using the internet according to the report by IMAI and Nielsen.
India’s internet penetration rate is what will determine the relationship between the number of internet users and the demographic structure. It indicates the section of the population which has access to the internet and that percentage is at 40 per cent.
There has been traffic on more women-centric platforms such as POPxo, even from small towns. Hindi users have also shown to increase as vernacular content consumption went up, users were consuming more content on Instagram than Facebook.
There has been a surge in the consumption of live video too. Mobile games such as PUBG, social networks such as TikTok and Facebook also saw users flock on it. Another app that has boomed during the pandemic has to be Zoom which is a free video calling app.